The Quad-City real estate agent who strong-armed buyers and sellers into closing on properties by threatening to sue them was sentenced on wire fraud charges this morning in U.S. District Court, Davenport.
U.S. District Judge John Jarvey denied a motion by Mary Pat Harper, formerly Mary Pat Lord, to withdraw her guilty plea. He then sentenced her to two years in prison.
The federal government accused Harper of collecting unearned fees and commissions as part of the scheme.
Bettendorf lawyer Paul Bieber, 57, whose mortgage fraud trial this year ended in a hung jury, admitted that in 2005 Harper had a listing for the sale of a property at 1818 Esplanade Ave., Davenport. As part of the fraud, she arranged to sell the property to Darryl Hanneken and Robert Herdrich for $100,000.
Harper and the parties agreed that the HUD-1 Settlement Statement and other documents pertaining to the sale would reflect the price of $155,000, which would allow Hanneken and Herdrich to obtain a mortgage loan for $108,500, greater than the actual sale price.
Also, Harper and the parties agreed that after the proceeds of the sale had been paid to the owner, the owner would then convey a $55,000 “cash back” payment, or the difference between the actual price and the inflated sale price, to Hanneken and Herdrich.
The actual price and the existence of the cash back payment to Hanneken and Herdrich would be concealed from the mortgage lender, Interbay Funding, by omitting those details from the HUD-1 Settlement Statement.
The government indicted Harper, Bieber, Hanneken and Herdrich on fraud charges related to the scheme.
Bieber was ordered to serve three years of probation after admitting that he had knowledge of a crime and didn't report it to authorities.
Both Hanneken and Herdrich pleaded guilty to felony mortgage fraud charges and were each sentenced to three years and four months in prison.
Davenport lawyer Marc Engelmann was convicted of felony mortgage fraud charges in a trial and is awaiting sentencing.
Others charged were Mary Lee Reinking and Natalie Long, both formerly mortgage brokers with Crow Valley Mortgage. They pleaded guilty to felony mortgage fraud charges and were sentenced to probation.