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Mortgage fraud sting nets one arrest

ATLANTA - A U.S. Department of Homeland Security employee is accused of mortgage fraud in trying to purchase a $3.3 million home in Duluth.

Authorities said 38-year-old Brinson Allen of Alpharetta expected to walk away from a loan closing Monday with $800,000 in cash, but instead he left in handcuffs. An FBI sting operation revealed that Allen allegedly falsified his income information to show he made $62,000 a month and told bankers he had about $1 million deposited in various bank accounts.

Allen used the information to obtain $2.5 million in mortgage loans to purchase a $3.3 million house at 320 Longvue Court in Duluth, said Patrick Crosby, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office. The purchase price of the house was allegedly inflated so the borrower and his co-conspirators could line their pockets with $800,000 in cash, plus the return of the required $842,000 down payment.

Allen first tried to secure the multimillion-dollar mortgage loans by pretending to be a FBI agent, Crosby said.

"The sting operation which resulted in this arrest, and similar arrests of a borrower and her conspirator at the closing table less than a month ago, are examples of one of the tools now used by law enforcement to fight the Atlanta area mortgage fraud problem, which is one of the most severe in the country," said U. S. Attorney David E. Nahmias.

"Sting operations like this one should put mortgage fraudsters on notice that they can never be sure who is monitoring their criminal scheme. Fraudsters should understand that they may be spending their nights in jail rather than in the neighborhoods they have targeted."

Less than a month ago, the FBI arrested Donna June Baker of Kalamazoo, Mich., and her niece and co-conspirator, Lanamasha Wesalanda Mixom-Hampton of Atlanta, in another mortgage fraud scheme. Baker and Mixom-Hampton were taken into custody at the closing table while allegedly using the stolen identity of a permanently disabled retiree from Florida to obtain a $1 million mortgage loan for a house at 940 Glengate Place in Atlanta.