February 6, 2012
Attorney General Koster announces 136-count criminal indictments related to robo-signing in mortgage industry
–Boone County grand jury indicts Georgia corporation and its president for practices highlighted in 60 Minutes report —
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced that a Boone County grand jury has handed down 136-count indictments against DOCX, LLC and its founder and former president, Lorraine Brown, for forgery and making a false declaration related to mortgage documents processed by DOCX.
“Today’s indictment reflects our firm conviction that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters,” Koster said. “Mass-producing fraudulent signatures on millions of real estate documents across America constitutes forgery. When you file those documents in our state, you are committing a crime under Missouri law.
The forgery and false declaration counts each allege that the person whose name appears on 68 notarized deeds of release on behalf of the lender is not the person who actually signed the paperwork. The documents were then submitted to the Boone County Recorder of Deeds as though they were genuine.
Koster’s office, working in coordination with Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Knight, requested the indictment, and the Attorney General’s Office will prosecute the case.
The indictments are the culmination of months of investigation by the Attorney General’s Office into the robo-signing scandal that injected thousands of questionable mortgage documents into the market. When the practice began to come to light, several major lenders temporarily suspended foreclosures in 2010. DOCX’s role in the robo-signing process came to national attention when 60 Minutes reported that Linda Green, an employee of DOCX, purportedly signed thousands of mortgage-related documents on behalf of several different banks and in multiple handwritings. The 68 documents on which the indictments are based were purportedly signed by Linda Green, but were in fact allegedly signed by someone else.
Forgery is a Class C felony and False Declaration is a Class B misdemeanor. If convicted on the most serious count, Brown could face up to seven years in prison for each count. DOCX could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction and $2,000 for each false declaration conviction.
The charges against DOCX and Lorraine Brown are merely accusations and, as in all criminal cases, the defendant is innocent until or unless proved guilty in a court of law.
The Attorney General’s investigation into this practice continues.