Minister/faith healer/mortgage crook charged in $5.5M fraud

A Mesa minister with a worldwide following has been arrested on charges that he orchestrated a $5.5 million mortgage-fraud scheme involving nearly a dozen Valley homes.

Clint Rogers and his wife, Angela Faith Rogers, were indicted this month by a federal grand jury that accused them of conspiring with three others to inflate the value of homes, obtain loans on the bloated price and then pocket the difference.

They are the leaders,” said Patrick Cunningham, chief of the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for Arizona. “They got $2.5 million in alleged cash back. That is a tremendously high number.”

The couple’s home purchases were detailed in a 2009 investigation by The Arizona Republic, which found that they bought 26 homes in less than two years and that nearly all of them went into foreclosure…

Clint Rogers, head of Mesa-based Clint Rogers Ministries, conducts faith-healing events and other services at churches throughout the U.S., Africa, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

According to the indictment, the ministry was used to launder money from the bogus real-estate transactions…

They obtained a total of $5.5 million in financing and in five months directed about $2.5 million of it into their own accounts, according to the indictment.

Good thing they’re Christian crooks. They’re guaranteed forgiveness and salvation. Right?

Meanwhile, they’ll find lots to keep them busy with faith healing in the slammer.

3 thoughts on “Minister/faith healer/mortgage crook charged in $5.5M fraud

  1. June says:

    Defendant accused of being part of 2nd fraud

    By Robert AnglenThe Republic | azcentral.comSat Nov 10, 2012 3:16 PM

    A defendant in a Valley-wide mortgage-fraud case who agreed to work with federal prosecutors as part of a plea deal now is being accused of trying to broker a bogus investment deal.

    In exchange for a lighter sentence, former Scottsdale loan officer Ernest Babbini confessed last year to working with a Mesa minister to submit millions in phony loan documents.

    But the CEO of an international trading firm headquartered in Texas says that at the same time Babbini was cutting his deal with prosecutors, he tried to broker a fake investment with the seller of diesel fuel.

    Darren Yancy, president and chief executive of Yancy & Associates, recently added Babbini to his Blacklist blog, which warns investors about potential fraud schemes and questionable ventures.

    “This world is full of liars, crooks, and thieves and we have had enough,” the Blacklist site states. “If you engage with our firm as a buyer, supplier, broker, mandate, etc. and you do not perform — we are going to let the world know.”

    Babbini could not be reached for comment. His lawyer, Michael Reeves of Phoenix, said Thursday he was unaware of the accusation and could not speak about it.

    In an interview last month, Yancy said Babbini and another individual used “cut-and-paste” paperwork to pass themselves off as middlemen in the fuel sale. He said they approached a well-known company directly and offered to help facilitate the transaction.

    Babbini and his partner produced a fake “sales-and-purchase-order agreement and pay order on a D2 transaction,” Yancy said in the Blacklist memo. D2 refers to a grade of fuel.

    A review of the paperwork immediately raised red flags, Yancy said. He said the buyer in the deal was out of Turkey. Yancy said he filed a report with the FBI.

    Federal authorities would not comment last week on the accusation, or about how it could affect Babbini’s plea agreement in the mortgage-fraud case.

    Records show Babbini is the only one of five conspirators in the mortgage case not yet sentenced. Babbini last year confessed to helping Mesa minister Clint Rogers launder $5.5 million through his international ministry. Babbini, along with former Scottsdale escrow agent Drew Hull and Tempe homebuyer Shannon Kato, called Rogers the ringleader in a cash-back scheme in which participants lied on applications about home values, transferred title from one buyer to another while obtaining loans on the bloated price, and then pocketing the difference.

    Rogers and his wife, Angela Faith Rogers, confessed this year to milking 15 homes of cash between 2006 and 2007. Clint Rogers was sentenced in July to five years in prison. His wife received a deferred sentence until 2014.

    Property records show that Rogers and his wife bought homes that other sellers had purchased for thousands of dollars less just hours, days or weeks earlier. Last week, Kato was sentenced to 24 months in prison and Hull was sentenced to five years of probation. Each was ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution.

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