Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

United States v. Lindsey

United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

June 28, 2016

United States of America, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
Nicholas Lindsey, Defendant-Appellant.

          Argued and Submitted March 18, 2016 San Francisco, California

         Appeal from the United States District Court 2:11-cr-00217-LDG-CWH-1, for the District of Nevada Lloyd D. George, Senior District Judge, Presiding.

          William H. Gamage, Gamage & Gamage, Las Vegas, Nevada, for Defendant-Appellant.

          Peter S. Levitt (argued), Assistant United States Attorney; Elizabeth O. White, Appellate Chief; Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney; United States Attorney's Office, Las Vegas, Nevada; for Plaintiff-Appellee.

         SUMMARY[*]

         Criminal Law

         Affirming the defendant's convictions in a mortgage fraud case, the panel held that lender negligence in verifying loan application information, or even intentional disregard of the information, is not a defense to fraud, and so evidence of such negligence or intentional disregard is inadmissible as a defense against charges of mortgage fraud.

         The panel further held that, when a lender requests specific information in its loan applications, that information is objectively material as a matter of law, regardless of the lenders' policies or practices with respect to use of that information.

          OPINION

          GOULD, Circuit Judge

         We address the admissibility of certain evidence in mortgage fraud cases. We affirm the convictions, rejecting appellant's contentions that evidence was improperly excluded and that he was denied the ability to present a defense. In a separate memorandum disposition filed concurrently, we reject other challenges to the convictions and some challenges to the sentence.

         Nicholas Lindsey, a former mortgage loan officer and real estate broker, appeals his convictions and sentence for nine counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated theft. For several years, Lindsey was involved in a complex mortgage fraud scheme that involved convincing individuals to "buy" residential properties in exchange for financial assistance. In some cases, Lindsey built up these individuals' credit ratings and deposited money into their bank accounts in order to fraudulently secure mortgages. He also submitted falsified loan documents to lenders in order to make the individuals appear more creditworthy, including falsely stating the applicants' earned income. The properties secured through this scheme were destined for foreclosure, creating large losses for financial institutions[1] while Lindsey benefitted financially from commissions, rent payments, and diverted escrow monies.

         Lindsey was charged with wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, which requires the government to prove that the defendant made "material" fraudulent representations, i.e., representations that had "a natural tendency to influence, or [were] capable of influencing" the decisions of the lenders who made the loans. United States v. Gaudin, 515 U.S. 506, 509 (1995) (quoting Kungys v. United States, 485 U.S. 759, 770 (1988)); Neder v. United States, 527 U.S. 1, 16 (1999). At his trial, the district court precluded Lindsey from presenting evidence of lenders' practices and policies. He appeals his convictions on the ground that he was denied his constitutional right to present a defense. We have jurisdiction under 18 U.S.C. § 3742(a) and 28 U.S.C. § 1291, and we hold that lender negligence in verifying loan application information, or even intentional disregard of the information, is not a defense to fraud, and so evidence of such negligence or intentional disregard is inadmissible as a defense against charges of mortgage fraud. We further hold that, when a lender requests specific information in its loan applications, that information is objectively material as a matter of law, regardless of the lenders' policies or practices with respect to use of that information.

         I

         Lindsey worked for Clear Mortgage, Inc. in Nevada as a mortgage loan officer and team leader for a mortgage group. During his employment with Clear Mortgage, Lindsey recruited straw buyers for Las Vegas real estate, and, in the process, made false statements in loan applications. In one illustrative example presented at trial, Lindsey recruited Madelon Bridges, a woman living in Louisiana with only fifty dollars to her name, to "purchase" Villa Del Mar, a house in Las Vegas worth $720, 000. Lindsey flew Bridges to Las Vegas and promised to pay off her debt and give her $10, 000 in exchange for acting as a straw buyer. Bridges gave Lindsey her personal identification information, including her social security number and fingerprints, and Lindsey paid off her debt and transferred money into her bank account. Lindsey also had Bridges sign a loan application that falsely represented, inter alia, that she intended to live at the property she was applying for a loan to purchase, paid $3, 300 a month in rent, was gainfully employed, and had a sizeable bank account. After she was approved for the loan, Lindsey used Bridges's personal information to apply for another loan and purchase another home in her name without her knowledge. When Lindsey did not make mortgage payments as promised, Villa Del Mar went into ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.