Wait, What? Foreclosure Fraud Switcheroo: First Mortgage Corporation Settles with SEC for Making Good Loans Look Bad


“It’s a creative securities fraud. It’s ordinarily the other way around — trying to pass off the bad loans as good ones.”


Wait, What? Foreclosure Fraud Switcheroo: First Mortgage Corporation Settles with SEC for Making Good Loans Look Bad

From the LA Times:

In countless cases against banks and other lenders over the last few years, investors and federal regulators have made basically the same argument: that lenders committed fraud by hiding the flaws of risky mortgage loans and passing them off to investors and the government as safe, solid ones.

But how about a case against a lender that did the opposite, taking good loans and making them look bad?

That’s the twist in the tale of First Mortgage Corp., a defunct Ontario mortgage lender that this week agreed to pay $12.7 million to settle a first-of-its-kind civil fraud case brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC alleged that First Mortgage pulled a switcheroo with the investors that purchased its loans.

First Mortgage told investors that some borrowers had fallen months behind on their loans, when in fact the company had received – but not deposited – payments from those borrowers, according to the suit, filed by the SEC in federal court in Los Angeles this week.

That allowed First Mortgage to repurchase those loans at a discount, deposit the payments and resell the now-squeaky-clean loans at full price to other investors, giving the company “an immediate, nearly risk-free profit,” according to the suit.

The SEC alleged that First Mortgage and its executives did this with hundreds of mortgages between 2011 and 2015, reaping profits of $7.5 million.

Well, that sure is a first…

From the SEC:


Litigation Release No. 23553 / May 31, 2016

Securities and Exchange Commission v. First Mortgage Corporation, et al., Civil Action No. 2:16-cv-03772 (C.D. Cal., filed May 31, 2016)

The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that a California-based mortgage company, and its six most senior executives, have agreed to pay $12.7 million to settle charges that they orchestrated a scheme to defraud investors in the sale of residential mortgage-backed securities guaranteed by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae RMBS). As alleged by the SEC, the defendants pulled current, performing loans out of Ginnie Mae RMBS by falsely claiming they were delinquent in order to sell them at a profit into newly-issued RMBS.

First Mortgage Corporation (“FMC”) is a mortgage lender that issued Ginnie Mae RMBS backed by loans it originated. The SEC alleges that from March 2011 through March 2015, FMC caused its Ginnie Mae RMBS prospectuses to be false and misleading by improperly and deceptively using a Ginnie Mae rule that gave issuers the option to repurchase loans that were delinquent by three or more months. FMC, with the knowledge and approval of the company’s senior-most management, purposely delayed depositing checks from borrowers who had been behind on their loans, falsely claiming to both investors and Ginnie Mae that such loans remained delinquent when in reality they were current. After repurchasing at prices applicable to delinquent loans, FMC was able to resell the loans into new Ginnie Mae RMBS pools at higher prices applicable to current loans for an immediate, nearly risk-free profit. Investors, meanwhile, were wrongly deprived of the interest payments on the repurchased loans.

The executives charged with fraud in the SEC’s complaint filed in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California include:

  • Chairman and CEO Clement Ziroli Sr., who agreed to a $100,000 penalty.
  • Company president Clement Ziroli Jr., who agreed to pay $411,421.98 plus $27,203.92 in interest and a $200,000 penalty.
  • Chief financial officer Pac W. Dong, who agreed to pay a $100,000 penalty.
  • Senior vice president Ronald T. Vargas, who headed FMC’s capital markets department, and agreed to pay a $60,000 penalty.
  • Senior vice president Scott Lehrer, who agreed to pay a $50,000 penalty.
  • Managing director of the servicing department Edward Joseph Sanders, who agreed to pay disgorgement of $51,576.51 plus $6,811.19 in interest. Sanders cooperated in the SEC’s investigation, and no penalty is assessed against him.

In settling the charges without admitting or denying the allegations, each of the six executives agreed to be barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for five years.

The SEC’s complaint alleges that FMC, Ziroli Sr., Ziroli Jr., Dong, Vargas, Lehrer, and Sanders violated Sections 17(a) of the Securities Act, Section 10(b) of the Securities Exchange Act, and Rule 10b-5(a) and (c). The complaint also alleges that FMC violated Rule 10b-5(b). The settlements are subject to court approval.

The SEC’s investigation was conducted by Allison Herren Lee and John B. Smith from the Complex Financial Instruments Unit in the Denver Regional Office. They were assisted by Dugan Bliss and Judy Bizu, and the case was supervised by Laura M. Metcalfe and Michael J. Osnato. The SEC appreciates the assistance of Ginnie Mae.



2 Responses to “Wait, What? Foreclosure Fraud Switcheroo: First Mortgage Corporation Settles with SEC for Making Good Loans Look Bad”
  1. Consider protecting customers and removing regulations on dealings between lending institutions then see if they are still anti-regulation.

  2. Bruce R Nelson says:

    Good work but did anyone know that Wells Fargo, Cherry Creek Brabch back in 2006 took large cash downpayments (in my case from my now deceased son age 44 in 2009) some $90k on a property in Salem, OR for a PRIME loan then Wells betrayed my son by asisting OPTION ONE to down grad a PRIME loan into a sub prime loan so OPTION ONE then sliced and diced my sons former PRIME loan into itty bitty chunks and sold this now SUB PRIME loan to Wall ST who further sliced and diced this sb prime loan into derivatives and securitization (trusts and then hocked those trust all over the world thus playing a major role in the financial chaos of 2006/2009/2010. In their words almost identical to this current 4 Closure story ONLY quite a few years earlier. Option One got scarfed up by a Vulture Capitalist when Option One dumped my sons “loan” int AHM (whose ceo was adjudicated a commiter of banking fraud after which
    good ole Willie the Vulture Ross quickly renamed the tarnished AHM into AMERICAN HOME MORTGAGE SERVICING INC, which rest AHMSIs home offices deep in the heart of Texas (Coppel) which in turn as Ross “sweet deal? began to collapse under the weight of his soley owned AHMSI (which made its living sucking the blood and marrow out of all us poor suckers who unwittingly fed the beast (Ross). I sued AHMSI in Polk County Circut Ct and won, pro se and for a year I langored in the sunshine of the kicking of Ros’ AHMSIs fat ass, during which that year the wise ols beast scammed his way into selling AHMSI to Ocwen Financial, anoyher defrauder of us vistims. Slick olle Ross must have laughed is greedy ass off at dumping AHMSI along with my sons subprime gift and oh so many other victims. The bad news is Ocwen partnered up with HSBC and took me, pro se, to Portland Federal Ct whee all of Ocwens high paid lawyers were professional pals with Federal Judges and this combo skinned bmy the 75 yr old disabled vets ass. Judge Ana Brown assisted OCWEN/HSBC lawyers into taking my home $300 free and clear equity away from me, Brown dismissed me WIYH PREJUDICE and hand my home which AAG and I had just agreed on a $300k reverse mortgage on (my golden years retirement fund) and gave my asset to two now prooven crinimal companies. I kid you not. Ocwens financial partner HSBS wa’is charged with LAUNDERING SOUTH AMERICAN DRUG CARTEL ILLICET COCAINE PROFITS (El Chappo ring any bells? thiss piece of donkey dung is soon to face a criminal Ct trial in NYS. I wonder if HSBCs connections with the humongous Medelien Drug Cartel will sign brightly on HSBC< Who knows?). Lets not forget HSBCs business partner (for what I do not know, but I can venture a strong guess!), good ole Clearwater, West Palm Beach scum buckets, OCWEN FINANCIAL ( whose CEO just flew the coop recently, scammer in chief of Ocwen. Who was the honcho when Judge Brown passed my fully titled property (my name) ober to, yup, you goy it, CPB nailed OCWEN with a 2 billion $ penalty for enormous foreclosure fraud. In a nutshell Federal Judge Anna Bronw handed mu home over to 2 corrupt crininal outfits. She or het researchers (all judges have them) and no doubt both investigations of HSBC )by FBI and CFPBs investigation of OCWEN , both of these investigation shoulw and would have been able for a Federal Judge to review. I had alleged as I did against AHMSI late 2009 that there existed NO PROMISARY NOTE amd NO SUPPORTING MORTGAGE as required under Federal Law (the law Brown took an oath to support, right?

    So with the bad news I was to be evicted from the home I invested some $50 K in improvements being a disbled 76 yr old vet succumbed in to gross depression, which might account for me to fail to see a big loose pothole in the back hills of Salem as I took my precious Collie, Shadow for he last run before I was to leave for Canada to join my eldest son and lick my wounds. The accident that put me into Salem Hospital for 3 weeks and further damaging my waning life is as likely to cause a ptsd (USAF) or at least contribute to it since having me "dismissed with prejudice was most assuredly on my mind when at a low rate of speed hitting that pot hole causing me to careen down a 200 ft slope wih ZERO airbags deploying to protect me from getting two subdural hematomas. My depression from oppression delivered by a Federal Ct judge who just gave my home to SEVERAL entities in which not one had an iota od STANDING or legal proof of interest in my property…well the wreck in my life has since far exceeded the damage done at that (not at fault accident. An aside let me WARN you about Liberty Mutual, my insuror of my "totaled 2996 Lincoln Navigator. I had retained Pulaski and Middleman, Houston T who believed I had a strong product liability vr Ford Motor Company. Liberty promised that my "evidence" for litigation was safely secured at their Woodburn storage facility. Pulaski called Liberty to confirm availability for investigative inspection and made a fixed date appt with Liberty Claims (a Claim MGR named "Ken". Pulaskis investigator went to the appointed assured time to inspect. The Lincoln was GONE! The investigator was lot by the lot attendant that someone showed up a few dayys earlier, did a bit of work on it then DROVE IT AWAY, a designated "totaled wreck "was released from Libertys lot, obviously with Libertys authority (Ken) in bad faith to me and Pulaski my solid evidence of product liability with it. It would be 12/23 2014 where I had to move (thanks fo the judicious Ana Brown to be with my older brother to help me re-couperate from all the trauma that be fell me in Salem that year. I have since put myself inVA Mental health care to help me retighten all the loose nutz and boltz in whats left of my brain.

    This forum is good therapy (by the way my BA/MA are in social and criminal psyc) . I only pray in some small way my story helps another soul out there. And take my advice, Judge brown is BIASED against pro se litigants. Be very careful should you ever have the misfortune to be in her {portland court. Additionally, Liberty apparently has so muck lot that not an hour goes by on TV that I am not forced to relive their betrayel. Liberty knows exactly what they did to their insured who has no traffi violations sine I was 14yrs of age. I know for a fact that even though the Polk County declared my accident on 5/25/14 was NOT AY FAULT, yet despite that fact the scum at Liberty has annotated my file with them as AT FAULT. That is info they will share with any inquiery, AT FAULT, am man has has but one minor fender parking lot incident ($600.) That record over 60 years old! Trust Liberty at uor own risk. My experience could easily be yours. I have filed with BBB in Bostn recently but that won't help me much. maybe it will help y0u out their. Their tv ads are cn jobs. Have no accident with them. ever and you might skate by.

    One final (I promise) note. I haver no problem should the Judge, Ocwen, HSBC,AHMSI and also Liberty Mutual feel the urge to sue me for libel. My reading of the Libel/Defamation laws are " Truth is a total Defense. In QB7, the Nazi Doktor "won" his case and QB valued his "loss of Medical reputation was adjudicated at one pence. Even I can afford tha:-)

    Bruce R Nelson
    Banner Elk, NC 28604 (I welcome comments)

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