2 indicted for mortgage fraud scheme targeting elderly | Crime
FULTON COUNTY, Ga. -- Two north Fulton County residents have been indicted for running a mortgage fraud scheme that targeted senior citizens.
Edmund Chatham of Roswell and Steven Connelly of Alpharetta each face one count of racketeering.
Prosecutors say the two defendants tried to obtain payouts from mortgage lenders for reverse mortgages. Between January 2008 and January 2009, Chatham and Connelly helped senior citizens buy five houses in Atlanta, then persuaded the victims to get the reverse mortgages using fraudulently inflated appraisals.
A reverse mortgage allows a homeowner to borrow a percentage of a home's equity while still being allowed to live there. Seniors who are at least 62 years old may be eligible for reverse mortgages, according to the Georgia Attorney General's office.
Chatham and Connelly are accused of taking proceeds and fees from the reverse mortgages at closings while giving little or none of the money to their victims.
Racketeering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $100,000 fine, or three times the value gained by each defendant.