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Missouri Jury Indicts First High-level Executive in Robo-Signing Case
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A grand jury in Missouri has indicted on criminal charges Georgia-based firm DocX and its founder and former president Lorraine O. Brown on forgery charges. This is the first high-level prosecution and indictment in a robo-signing case.

DocX is a subsidiary of mortgage processor Lender Processing Services. TheMissourijury has indicted DocX employees with forging signatures on hundreds of real estate documents, some of which resulted in foreclosures.

  
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This is the first time that a senior level executive could end up in jail over robo-signing – a practice where the lender signs the documents, including foreclosure documents, without bothering to read them or having a notary present.

The decision comes in the background of the big banks trying to cut a deal with the federal government. Currently 40 state attorney generals and five of the nation’s largest banks – Citigroup, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and Ally Financial have agreed to a $25 billion settlement. The deal is to close allegations that the banks forged documents related to mortgages, which led to foreclosures which should never have happened.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has said “The grand jury is alleging that the documents have false signatures on them, that the notarizations are fraudulent and that it was all done with an intent to deceive. If that’s true, it makes the [foreclosure] documents forgeries.”

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A lawyer for Brown has said that she plans to plead not guilty and that she did not have any criminal intent. Ira Rheingold, a lawyer for a consumer advocacy group says “You’re beginning to see criminal prosecution here of outright fraud.” She says it will not be surprising if this results in more criminal prosecutions.

Homeowners in Missouri may also benefit from this indictment. For the homeowners whose documents are found to be robo-signed, the relevant documents will be considered void.



“If they are nullities, than these documents are no more significant than a child drawing on construction paper with crayon,” Attorney General Chris Koster said to Huffington Post.



 

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