Man indicted in Owl Ridge mortgage fraud case
Kawika Morelli, 52, is believed to have caused federal mortgage documents to be falsely completed, made false statements in closing documents and agreed to give undisclosed kickbacks to buyers based on inflated appraisals of homes being built in the Owl Ridge development in west Greeley, according to a news release from the Weld District Attorney’s office.
The alleged scam over-inflated the prices of dozens of home between 2006 and 2008, leading to dozens of foreclosures in the 52-lot subdivision. The banks that investigators believe were defrauded in the deals included Aurora Loan Services, Silver State Mortgage, Credit Suisse Financial Corp., and Magnus Financial Corp.
The indictment charges Morelli with 10 felonies, including five counts of theft of $15,000 or more, and five counts of forgery. All of the charges are class-three felonies that carry a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison for each count.
A warrant for Morelli’s arrest was issued in Weld County on Monday. He was arrested in the Las Vegas area Thursday. The Weld County District Attorney is seeking his extradition to Greeley. Bond in the case has been set at $50,000.
An investigation into the alleged scam began last year, resulting in two other indictments.
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