Schuette Fails To Indict 2 Of His Campaign Donors Who Were Co-Conspirators
Steve Dibert, MFI-Miami
Remember when you were a teenager and you had one of those jobs where you got to goof off a lot and you only worked when the boss was watching?
Well, that’s pretty much how you can summarize Bill Schuette’s first two years as Michigan’s Attorney General especially when it comes to combating mortgage and foreclosure fraud.
Schuette and his predecessor, the infamous skirt chaser, Mike Cox were well aware of the problem of fraudulent documents being filed at Register of Deeds offices throughout Michigan as early as 2009 but after Bill Schuette was sworn into office in 2011, he chose to do nothing until he claims he was motivated by watching a 60 Minutes segment. The truth is Oakland County Clerk/Register of Deeds and fellow Republican Bill Bullard informed him that Ingham County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel, Jr., a Democrat, was making national headlines for his work combating document fraud in Ingham County. Schuette afraid of being perceived as a glorified welfare recipient living off the government, moved into action by announcing he was launching an investigation into fraudulent Linda Green signatures and DocX. The only problem was that other state Attorneys General and the U.S. Department of Justice had already beat him to the punch but that didn’t stop him from jumping on the bandwagon.
Last week, Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Lorraine Brown, the former President of DocX agreed to plead guilty to felony fraud and perjury to thousands of robo-signed documents filed on the public record in Missouri. She also plead guilty in federal U.S. District Court in Florida to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Together, these two guilty pleas could keep her behind bars for up to 15 years.
Today, Schuette who hasn’t said a word about mortgage or foreclosure fraud publicly in 18 months, apparently didn’t want to be outmaneuvered by his Democratic colleague, Missouri AG Chris Koster because today he announced he too was indicting Lorraine Brown. Schuette wanting to show that he has brassier cojones than Koster announced he is charging Lorraine Brown with Racketeering and seeking a prison term of 20 years compared to the three years Koster was seeking. The problem is in Schuette’s attempt to be a Macho Man, he kind of forgot that he’s the third person in line wanting to convict Brown and because of this he will probably never get his chance to convict her. The one downside of jumping on a bandwagon.
Several attorneys I spoke with including Kelli Meeks of Level One Legal Services in Ann Arbor question if this indictment will amount to anything or even solve the problem,
“How does this criminal indictment translate into helping those homeowners who were wrongfully foreclosed upon by the use of these forged documents produced by DocX and others? Will any future indictments by Attorney General Schuette include any other perpetrators of pervasive document fraud who are still at large and are known through out the foreclosure defense community?”
Not surprising is who Schuette didn’t name in the indictment along with Brown in this Machiavellian Dog and Pony Show. DocX had co-conspirators from Michigan in this multi-billion dollar fraud. Orlans Associates and Trott & Trott routinely prepared the documents and filed with the Register of Deeds offices across the state affidavits and mortgage assignments containing fraudulent signatures of Lind Green and forged notary signatures. Orlans and Trott were not mentioned considering Linda Orlans, David Trott, members of their respected families and employees have given nearly $250,000 to the Michigan Republican Party, Bill Schuette’s campaign for Attorney General and Ruth Johnson’s campaign for Secretary of State.
Schuette picked DocX because they were an easy low risk target. He knew Koster and the U.S. Department of Justice were doing most of the work and he figured all he had to do was put on a dog and pony show for the media outlets through Michigan who don’t cover or follow mortgage or foreclosure fraud cases and they would treat him like a Roman General coming home from conquering the barbarians.
Ah, the Machiavellian politics of Bandwagon Bill.