Janet Damewood pleads guilty to mortgage fraud - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

Janet Damewood pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

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A Rocky Gap, Va., woman pleaded guilty Feb. 16 to mortgage fraud, the West Virginia Department of Justice announced in a news release.

Federal prosecutors say Janet Damewood, 60, applied for a second mortgage from CitiFinancial Inc. on a home she owned in Princeton.

According to the release, at the time Damewood applied for the mortgage, the Internal Revenue Service had filed a $256,000 federal tax lien at the Mercer County Courthouse for failure to pay back taxes.

The release additionally stated Damewood admitted that she did not disclose the federal tax lien, but CitiFinancial later discovered it during the underwriting process.

"Damewood further admitted that she created a false and fraudulent document which claimed to be a release of the federal tax lien," the news release stated. "The defendant subsequently provided the false document to CitiFinancial as proof that the lien had been released."

According to the release, CitiFinancial funded a $37,000 loan to Damewood based on her alleged false representations.

In May 2010, the home sold at foreclosure for less than the value of the first mortgage and the federal tax lien.

"As a result, CitiFinancial ultimately lost the full amount of the $37,000 mortgage," the news release stated.

Damewood could face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine when she is sentenced June 14. 

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