The last time we caught up with VP Equity, it was being accused of using deceptive sales practices to sell loans to elderly quadriplegic men ["All the President's Men," October 19, 2005]. It was a nice gig, but sometimes screwing old people gets tiring, you know?
After the story came out, Dennis Faubel of Medina came to the firm's defense. "I know the men who owned VP Equity . . . They are among the most honest, fair-minded people in the brokering industry," wrote Faubel, a broker himself. VP Equity also called Scene to say we had it all wrong.
Unfortunately, one of the country's largest mortgage lenders, Indymac Bank of California, isn't buying.
Indymac claims it received a series of loan packages from VP Equity last fall, according to a lawsuit. Each loan was intended for the purchase of residential lots, ranging from $350,000 to $590,000, in a Florida bedroom community.
Indymac quickly discovered massive fraud, however. It claims that VP used 41 people as straw buyers -- folks who allowed VP to slap their names on property transfers to hide the existence of a third buyer.
The alleged conspiracy includes folks from all over Summit County, plus three other companies, two real-estate developers, and a Florida appraiser and law firm. VP Equity appeared to be acting as the middleman on the deal, though it did not return Scene's phone calls.
Indymac is asking that the loans be nullified, though it still wants defendants to pay the remaining balance. The bank is also seeking punitive damages.