PHILADELPHIA PA (CNBNewsnet)--On May, 29, 2018, EUGENE PETER KENWORTHY, Jr., age 50 (approximately), of Ambler, PA, pleaded guilty. KENWORTHY was previously charged by Indictment with wire fraud, false statements for the purpose of influencing the Federal Housing Administration, aggravated identity theft, and failure to file a tax return.
KENWORTHY. was licensed in Pennsylvania as a Certified Appraiser for residential real estate. He worked at Tech Review Ltd. ("Tech Review"), a real estate appraisal company owned by defendant KENWORTHY's father. In or about January 2016, HUD suspended KENWORTHY, barring him from performing any appraisals for FHA-insured mortgage loans; including Home Equity Conversion Mortgages ("HECMs"), popularly called "reverse mortgages," are FHA-insured loans.
KENWORTHY knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises. Specifically, he used the electronic signatures of five certified real estate appraisers (J.S., M.S., D.N., J.W., and R.K.) without their knowledge or consent, to certify approximately 294 of the approximately 714 appraisal reports that he wrote for HECM loans. J.S., M.S., D.N., J.W., and R.K. had neither appraised the properties nor written the appraisal reports to which defendant KENWORTHY had affixed their electronic signatures on these approximately 294 appraisals. Defendant KENWORTHY used his own signature to certify the other approximately 420 (of the approximately 714) appraisal reports that he wrote.
KENWORTHY made false statements in some of the appraisal reports that he wrote for HECM loans (both in the reports for HECMs that he wrote using his own name, and in reports for HECMs that he wrote using other appraisers' names). Those false statements resulted in falsely inflated valuations for the properties, which in turn fraudulently inflated the HECM loan amount. Numerous properties for which defendant he wrote appraisal reports went into foreclosure. As of July 2017, of the 294 appraisals that defendant KENWORTHY submitted using other appraisers' names, the FHA had paid approximately 18 claims totaling more than $1.1 million on foreclosed properties for which the sale price of the foreclosed property was insufficient to cover the HECM loan. Additionally, for the approximately 420 appraisals that defendant KENWORTHY submitted in his own name, the FHA had paid claims totaling almost $2.6 million on 35 foreclosed properties for which the sale price of the foreclosed property was insufficient to cover the HECM loan. Thus, as of July 2017, of the 714 properties for which defendant KENWORTHY wrote the appraisal report (either using his own name or the name of another appraiser), the FHA had paid 53 claims totaling almost $3.7 million on foreclosed properties, because the value of the subject properties was insufficient to cover the HECM loan balance owed to the lender upon the sale of the property.
Defendant KENWORTHY wrote most of these appraisals for one mortgage broker/mortgage origination company, which paid defendant KENWORTHY, or defendant KENWORTHY's appraisal company, approximately $450 per appraisal.
KENTHWORTY also failed to file his 2011 and 2012 tax returns.