Chesterton Tribune



Portage man one of two sentenced to federal prison in mortgage fraud scheme

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A Portage man and a Gary man were sentenced last week to more than a year each in federal prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Northern Indiana said.

Jeffrey Youngheim, 47, of Portage, and Richard Loveless, 52, of Gary, were defendants in the case U.S. vs. Chandler et al.

Youngheim was sentenced to 21 months in prison, one year of supervised release, and a $100,000 fine, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said; Loveless, sentenced to 15 months of imprisonment, one year of supervised release, and a $50,000 fine.

According to documents filed in this case, “Youngheim participated in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme designed to unjustly enrich himself and his business partner Loveless (among others) to the detriment of neighboring homeowners in Gary.”

In particular, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said persons “recruited to buy most of the houses sold in the scheme were first-time home buyers with little practical experience in the field of real estate and with limited to no familiarity with the Gary, Ind., real estate market. Nearly everything said to induce buyers to buy these houses was a lie.”

Among other things, the buyers “were told the houses were good investments when in fact they were in disrepair,” the U.S. Attorney’s Offices said. “They were told the houses would be rehabilitated when in fact few, if any, of the necessary repairs were actually completed. Little effort was made to keep the promises after the first month or two of mortgage payments had been made.”

Youngheim and Loveless, and/or a trust held for the benefit of their joint business, Property Liquidators Inc., owned five of the 25 properties sold in the scheme.

This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI.



Posted 11/25/2013