Two more defendants were sentenced Tuesday in the Parish Marketing mortgage fraud scheme that built nearly 200 homes and collected $100 million in bogus loan proceeds.
Kristopher Robbins, 28, of Brandon, S.D., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution. He pleaded guilty in September 2007 to conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud.
A former closing agent, Robbins admitted to letting co-conspirators forge signatures on mortgage documents. His cooperation with authorities with the Federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force, including IRS and FBI investigators, earned Robbins a reduced sentence.
Melissa Smith, 45, a Gerard, Ohio, a stay-at-home mom, was sentenced to one year in prison by Montgomery. She is the sister of co-conspirator Christopher Troup, who was sentenced last week to 10 years in prison. She also pleaded guilty in September 2007.
Smith acted as a straw buyer in the scheme, lending her name to 46 home purchases for about $20 million from October 2004 through January 2007. She also received a reduced sentence for cooperating with investigators.
Parish Marketing used straw buyers to buy about 200 homes built by Parish Marketing in New Prague, New Market and Lonsdale. Montgomery ruled that the scheme resulted in a loss of $20 million to $50 million and harmed more than 50 victims.
Co-conspirators Michael Parish, who was sentenced last week to 13 years in prison, and his wife, Ardith Parish, who was sentenced to five years, also pleaded guilty in the case. Several other co-conspirators, including a former banker, an appraiser and a former mortgage broker also pleaded guilty.
James Walsh • 612-673-7428