Real estate reimbursement scam

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Real estate reimbursement scam

Post by webhick » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:48 pm

A little background, for those who aren't aware. As it turns out when a real estate agent accepts a foreclosed listing, they get reimbursed by the bank for any repairs, maintenance, etc done to the place until it gets sold. That's fine and dandy.

I discovered this particular scam while imputing paperwork for a real estate agent and have one documented instance of a legitimate reimbursement in which the agent submitted a copy of the bill along with a copy of the check he wrote which triggered the reimbursement.

So, this agent has his live-in girlfriend start up a property maintenance company and tells me that she'll do the maintenance work, he'll pay her company for it, and he'll get reimbursed by the mortgage company for the expense to his business. Okay, sounds fine.

But, he gave me some check registers that he wrote up for these reimbursements. I couldn't figure out which of his many accounts it went to at first, but after I managed to pry some bank statements out of him, I determined it went to his main business/personal because the utility checks from the same register cleared the bank. But none of the checks to his girlfriend's company cleared. AT ALL. When I tried to find out what happened he very defensively changed the subject by whining about how long it's going to take him to get me the bank statements I requested a month earlier and accused us of working for the IRS. Long story short, we've quit.

Now, in his paperwork, he claimed up and down that he was reimbursed for those expenses, although I have no documentation backing it up. If I am to go by what he says, then I think he's committing a crime by submitting fraudulent expenses for reimbursement by the mortgage company.

Does anyone know a good way to go about alerting the mortgage companies about how easy it is for agents to get reimbursed for bogus expenses?
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Re: Real estate reimbursement scam

Post by Gregg » Wed Nov 11, 2009 4:10 pm

Find out who at the banks is managing the property in question. You may find the answer is "whoever gets stuck with it for the day/week/month and thus, darn near no one. You may be able to pitch to them a service to verify the payments and make a few bucks doing it...
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