Fighting Forgery and Fraud in Missouri
BOONE COUNTY, Mo. — A Missouri grand jury handed down a 136 count indictment Tuesday against a company called Docx based in Georgia, which did business with large financial institutions like Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
In the indictment, which Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says is a first of its kind in the country, Koster accuses Docx and founder Lorraine Brown of a practice called “robo-signing.” It involves a bank employee signing document after document without reviewing them for accuracy.
It’s a way to cut corners and make money quickly and fraudulently, Koster says. His office was alerted several months ago that there could be a problem with the company and began investigating.
“Finally, a grand jury in the country has stood up and said that it is imperative that the legal documents that underlay our large investments, our homes, have to be legal,” Koster said.
Koster says the practice has put thousands of questionable mortgage documents into the market by using fake “robo-signatures” to speed up the processing of mortgages.
The indictment cites 68 notarized deeds filed between April and July 2009. The documents are all signed with the name of Bank of America Vice-President Linda Green, but Koster says all the signatures are forged.
“Signatures were falsely placed on legal documents that are required to be filed inside the land-title system,” Koster said.
If found guilty, Docx could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction. Brown could face seven years in prison for each count. Docx has since dissolved and is no longer in operation.