United States v. Daniel

Rymtech, a mortgage reduction program, purported to provide financial assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure. Daniel, its Vice President, recruited homeowners to place their properties in the program and instructed them to sign over title to straw purchasers called “A buyers.” Homeowners were told that title would be placed in trust, that A buyers would obtain financing to pay off the mortgage, and that they would regain clear title in five years. Daniel instructed loan officers to prepare fraudulent loan applications on behalf of A buyers. Even if Rymtech had invested all of the owners’ equity, implausibly high rates of return would have been required to make the mortgage payments. The equity was actually primarily used to operate Rymtech. When its finances started to disintegrate, Daniel continued to recruit homeowners. After the program failed Daniel was convicted of wire fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1343 and mail fraud, 18 U.S.C. 1341. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, rejecting a challenge to the sufficiency of the evidence and an argument that the court erred in rejecting his proposed instruction, requiring the jury to agree unanimously on a specific fraudulent representation, pretense, promise, or act. Unanimity is only required for the existence of the scheme itself and not in regard to a specific false representation. View "United States v. Daniel" on Justia Law