A former executive of a major document processing firm pleaded guilty to federal and state charges related to “robo-signing” — the widespread fabrication and improper notarization of mortgage documents — in Florida and Missouri earlier this month.
Lorraine Brown was the chief executive of the now-defunct DocX LLC, which was involved in the preparation and recording of mortgage-related documents throughout the country. The company was accused of mass-producing “fraudulently signed and notarized real estate documents” that were filed for recording across the country, according to a statement from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ).
Lorraine Brown “was responsible for more than a million fraudulent documents entering the system, directing company employees to forge and falsify documents relied on by property recorders, title insurers and others. Appropriately, she now faces the prospect of prison time,” Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer said.
Brown pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in federal court November 20 in Jacksonville, Florida, and agreed the same day to plead guilty to one felony count of forgery, a felony count of perjury and a misdemeanor count of making a false declaration in Missouri. She faces a maximum possible prison sentence of five years for the federal charges and an additional maximum two- year prison sentence in Missouri.
“This agreement brings to justice the person most responsible for these activities and upholds the principle that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters,” said Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.
The guilty pleas come weeks after the parent company of DocX, Lender Processing Services, Inc., reached settlements with the Attorneys General of Delaware and Colorado to settle “robo-signing” claims. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette announced earlier this week that his state is charging Brown with racketeering for her alleged role in authorizing fraudulent signing of mortgage documents in Michigan.
For more details on the impact of this case and the “robo-signing” crisis, keep an eye out for the December edition of the Financial & Corporate Services Section.