Mortgage Fraudster Ronnie Duke Never Reported To Prison Six Months Ago
The FBI is offering a $5000 reward for information leading to the arrest of former Michigan mortgage fraudster Ronnie Duke. Duke a habitual criminal who rose to become the kingpin of a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud operation had failed to report to federal prison in West Virginia back in June.
Duke was convicted and sentenced in April to 13 years in prison for using a scheme that used fake documents to secure hundreds of loans on homes throughout Metro Detroit from 2003 to 2007. In 2007, Duke suddenly turned himself in and ratted out 15 others as part of a massive case. They all pleaded guilty, and all of them are now serving 10-15 years apiece in federal prison except for Duke.
Duke, who had been in trouble with the law numerous times since he was a teenager for credit card fraud, embezzlement and receiving stolen property, operated a scheme that triggered nearly $100 million in losses for financial institutions while Duke bankrolled a lavish lifestyle that would make even Robin Leech blush.
FBI Special Agents say Duke ran the one of largest mortgage fraud schemes in the country. The scheme involved more than 450 bad loans, over 100 straw buyers, and about 180 different properties in Southeast Michigan.
Duke used strippers from various strip clubs from the Detroit suburbs to help him target distressed homeowners who had homes with values of $350,000 and up and then used “straw buyers” to bail the people out of foreclosure only to charge them outrageous fees and set them up to go further in debt and lose the house.
In April, U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook also ordered Duke to pay a $1-million fine and $94 million in restitution for his crimes which involved 500 fraudulent mortgage loans, more than 100 straw buyers and roughly 180 residential properties in metro Detroit. Duke and his top lieutenants counterfeited purchase agreements, created fake closing documents and fictitious title companies that actually were controlled by Duke and his partners. This caused the warranty deeds and mortgages associated with the majority of the loans to go unrecorded and left the loans unsecured.
U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook allowed Duke to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons in West Virginia instead of requiring him to post bond, putting him on a tether or keeping him in custody.
Several of the people Duke ratted out allegedly had ties to organized crime figures in the Detroit area, so don’t if Duke does show up don’t surprised if he is discovered in a shallow grave with his hands tied behind his back and a dead rat stuffed in his mouth.