Koster Indictment Targets Practice of “Robo-Signing”
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster Tuesday announced that a Boone County grand jury has handed down a 136-count indictment against DocX, LLC and its founder and former president Lorraine Brown.
She and the company are both charged with making a false declaration related to mortgage documents.
“The grand jury indictment alleges that mass-produced fraudulent signatures on notarized real estate documents constitutes forgery,” Koster said. “Today’s indictment reflects our firm conviction that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters.”
While cases related to so-called robo-signing are routinely the subject of civil lawsuits, Missouri’s indictment marks a rare instance when a company and its president have faced criminal charges.
If convicted, Lorraine Brown could face up to seven years in prison for each forgery count.
DocX could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction.
Brown’s being represented by Scott Rosenblum of the St. Louis-based law firm of Rosenblum, Schwartz, Rogers & Glass.
Koster says the forgery and false declaration counts each allege that the person whose name appears on 68 notarized deeds of release on behalf of the lender is not the person who actually signed the paperwork.
The documents were submitted to the Boone County Recorder of Deeds office, however, as if they were genuine.
Koster described “signing rooms” that came to light during the investigation that led to the criminal counts against DocX and Brown.
“The big banks hire people that they call ‘corporate vice presidents’, but they pay them maybe ten dollars an hour,” Koster explained. “They sit in the signing room and they sign these documents, three hundred an hour, until their hands are too tired to write. And if they slow down they get fired.”
The indictments are the result of months of investigation by the Attorney General’s office into the robo-signing scandal that injected thousands of questionable mortgage documents into the market.
DocX’s role in the robo-signing process came to national attention when the CBS news show “60 Minutes” reported that Linda Green, an employee of DocX, purportedly signed thousands of mortgage-related documents on behalf of several different banks and in multiple handwriting styles.
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