The Renaissance, the All Seeing Eye and the Constitution of the United States of America

The All Seeing Eye of ancient Egypt, depicted upon the Great Seal of America, represents a fractal logic concept of political Liberty that is now re-emerging into a new global understanding. The ancient concept revealed its lost mystery when the science of quantum mechanics was extended into the evolutionary life-science of quantum biology. There is now an obvious advantage that various religious denominations and secular institutions, might gain, by sharing a moderate rigorous ethical understanding of the optic principles upholding spiritual reality, existing within a holographic universe.

The ancient Mystery Schools of Babylon and Egypt shared a common denominator with other ancient Eastern philosophies, which helped bring Western Classical Greek life-science into existence. This essay focusses upon the ancient civilisations of Egypt and Greece, but it is relevant to a multitude of global spiritual aspirations, based upon that common denominator. It is namely, an intuition to employ fractal logic reasoning in spiritual matters. That intuition is now re-emerging as a fundamental aspect of the new quantum biology science of life.

During the Egyptian 1st Kingdom, geometrical knowledge was needed to resurvey boundaries of rich fertile farms, lost during the the annual flooding of the Nile. Another, separate sacred geometry existed, one that extended its logic into the infinite world of fanciful immortal Egyptian gods. During the 2nd Kingdom, this ancient fractal geometrical logic became the basis for integrating concepts of mercy, compassion and justice into Egyptian political law. When the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, went to study political ethics at the Mystery Schools of ancient Egypt, he successfully devised an experiment in harmonics, known as the Comma of Pythagoras. This aspect of the Pythagorian Music of the Spheres discoveries, associated ‘Liberty’ with the political mathematics belonging to The Eye of Horus, the All Seeing Eye.

The only geometrical logic known to extend to infinity is now recognised by science to be fractal logic. Since the 5th Century until now, the Western religious World-view prohibited any life-science to be linked to such pagan logic. This was shown to be superstitious ignorance when optical nanotechnology revealed the Platonic fractal optics to be functioning within the human DNA. The NASA High Energy Astrophysics Division has published papers arguing that the Classical Greek Era’s science of life was based upon fractal logic. The fractal concept of political liberty is depicted on the American one dollar bill, and it refers to the Comma of Pythagoras experiment. However, at the time of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America, a grave scientific error occurred, resulting in an unbalanced scientific confusion.

One of the founding fathers of the Constitution, Alexander Hamilton, explained this problem. He did indeed, write that Liberty was associated with physics and geometrical principles. However, the Constitution was based upon Sir Isaac Newton’s published physics principles. Newton’s unpublished Heresy papers were not discovered until last century. Sir Isaac Newton’s conviction of the existence of a “more profound natural philosophy to balance the mechanical description of the universe…”was based upon Platonic physics and mathematical principles.

The Christian Church outlawed the balanced World-view political liberty concept during the 5th Century, some thirteen hundred years before the drafting of the American Constitution, Newton’s balancing fractal World-view, now at the cutting edge of quantum biological politician science, had been omitted, leaving a confused understanding of Pythagoras’ mathematical proof, which concerned itself with human liberty within a material universe balanced by the functioning of a spiritual or holographic reality. The relevant technologies are now known to be essential prerequisites for healthy biological growth and development through space-time

During the reign of Pope Cyril of Alexandria during the 5th Century, a Christian mob burnt several centuries of fractal logic research scrolls at the Great Library of Alexandria, raping and murdering it’s custodian, the mathematician Hypatia. St Augustine, at that time, officially recorded that her fractal logic mathematics was the work of the Devil. In his book The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon wrote that Hypatia’s death marked the beginning of Western Civilisations’ Dark Ages.

Western civilisation is only now beginning to emerge from the Dark Age corruption of Plato’s spiritual optical mathematics (revised for physics by the father of optics Ibn Al Haytham during the 11th Century). That lost logic is now an indisputable component of the new Platonic-Fullerene Chemistry of fractal quantum biological medical science, now emerging throughout Europe and America. Fullerene Chemisty, is based upon the holographic engineering principles of Plato’s spiritual optics as is noted by Harvard University’s Novartis Chair, Professor Amy Edmonson, in her online essay The Fuller Explanation.

The Christian Church hierarchy, long a sworn enemy of political democracy concepts being based upon spiritual fractal logic science, has not yet relinquished its role in the corruption of such physics logic. This attitude denies open debate in the affairs of global politics. in complete contempt of the 3rd Century BC Platonic Science of Universal Love, of which the Knights Templar and later Freemasonry (rightly or wrongly) linked to the teachings of Jesus Christ, as in the Jefferson Bible, held within the American Congressional Library.

Civilisation can be seen to be still in the Christian Dark Ages, This is collaborated by the fact that Cambridge University, since 1932 up until the present time, internationally requires the basis of fundamental student Core Curriculum studies, to be linked to the essay by the philosopher F M Cornford. entitled Before and After Socrates. This essay contains the ridiculous claim that Plato can be considered to be one of the greatest fathers of the Church, when his fractal logic spiritual mathematics was cursed by St Augustine as being the work of the Devil.

To add insult to injury, Western culture forbids the linking of life science to fractal logic because 20th Century science was governed by an inadequate understanding of the second law of thermodynamics, which demands the complete destruction of all life in the universe, forbidding any Platonic fractal-life science to exist. That law, still governing modern science, was derived from the Church’s 13th Century unethical (later witch burning) policies of St Thomas Aquinas. Reverend Thomas Malthus used Aquinas’ policies as the basis of the East India Company’s ruthless economic policies, which, during the 18th Century, were cited by Charles Darwin as being synonymous with the second law of thermodynamics, now enforcing a financial Hell on Earth.

During the 1980s the Science-Art Research Centre of Australia used ancient geometrical logic to prove the existence of new life-science physics laws associated with the Pythagorean Music of the Spheres. The proof mathematics were reprinted from Italy’s leading scientific journal, Il Nuovo Cimento, as an important discovery of the 20th Century by the world’s largest technological research institute, IEEE Milestone Series in Washington. Despite that published fact, most scientists refused to consider the claim that the work was based upon the forbidden fractal life-science logic.

However, in the eminent science book, The Beauty of Fractals-Images of Complex Dynamical Systems, by H Peitgen and P Richter, a chapter about extending quantum mechanics to quantum biology is entitled Freedom, Science, and Aesthetics, written by Professor Gert Eilenberger, the Director of a German scientific institute. Within his profound article he wrote about the bridging of “rational scientific insight” with “emotional aesthetic appeal” through optical fractal logic. This appears to echo the ancient geometrical fractal reasoning of Pythagoras, when he associated the All Seeing Eye optical mathematics with the concept of political freedom.

The Church surely, is now honour bound to cease its corruption of science practices. The earth does revolve around the sun and was never the centre of the universe. Spiritual reality now refers to ethical or God-like holographic reality and we can all pay homage to the devout Christian scientists who were later punished for trying to explain about the Platonic Science of Universal Love, once taught throughout Italy during the1st Century BC, as recorded by the historian Cicero.

Professor Robert Pope © 2011

Clinical Trial Fraud – How to Identify and Steps to Handle If Found

You are a CRA, CRC, a member of the clinical trial team, CRO, pharma, sponsor, or otherwise – when you become aware of fraudulent data and clinical practices in a clinical trial – what do you do? Immediately report your suspicion and findings to FDA. FDA will direct the “for cause” call to the appropriate divisions at FDA – Divisions of Scientific and Criminal Investigations. From here, if fraud is proven, any individual or organization participating in fraudulent activities will be held to the full extent of the law governing such in the judicial court system.

Clinical trial fraud is on the rise again. Major areas riddled with fraudulent clinical trial behavior:

  • over enrollment of patients
  • faking patient informed consent forms
  • faking patient CRFs
  • faking visits
  • faking lab data
  • under reporting of adverse events
  • no reporting of “early patient withdrawals”
  • no reporting of “lost to follow-up” patient visits.

If fraud is proven, clinical investigators and anyone involved in the fraud will be given heavy fines as well as prison sentences. Who is at fault? Principle and co-investigators, clinical team members and organizations. It is difficult to prevent the intention of fraud, but it is not difficult to identify fraud. Lack of clinical trial and quality control monitoring allows for the occurrence of fraud.

What does clinical research misconduct, fraud mean? FDA provides a definition that is clear in message and severity. Clinical research misconduct means falsification of data in proposing, processing, designing, performing, recording, supervising, reviewing, analyzing, collecting clinical research or reporting clinical research results, outcomes and endpoints. The manipulation of data and reporting for a self-serving purpose, usually monetary! Simple!

The FDA uses fraud and misconduct interchangeably and includes acts of omission and commission, consciously not revealing all data and consciously altering or fabricating data. Fraud does not include honest error or honest difference in opinion. Deliberate or repeated non compliance with the protocol and GCP is considered fraud, second to falsification of data which is more severe in penalty and justice and resolve.

Let us review again who commits fraud?

  • Investigators
  • Study nurses
  • Study Coordinators
  • Data managers
  • CRAs
  • Sponsors
  • Lab personnel
  • IRB staff
  • Subjects.

Yes, it is true. Clinical trial subjects have been accused and found guilty of fraud. The reasons are interesting and the content of another blog.

Average breakdown in % of blame:

  • CRC – 39
  • Study Nurse – 17
  • Hospital – 9
  • Sponsor – 9
  • Self – 9
  • Office Staff – 9
  • PI or Co-PI – 4
  • CRA – 4.

Monitor and adhere to GCP. Review and monitor repeatedly. Report fraud.

The Law Of Non-Interference

The universal Law of Non-Interference can perhaps best explain the meaning of justice. Without it, we will forever wonder why some things are considered right or why some things are considered wrong. This universal law applies to every area of life, including human relations and the field of justice in particular. As beings of Spirit in human form, this law binds us all. It is to our advantage, though. The universal Law of Non-Interference is our only password to eternal freedom, for without it we would forever be entangled in the web of karma.

What’s more, interference is actually a complete impossibility in the universe. Unless we invite interference (and then we cannot call it interference any more), we are only left with what we create for ourselves or co-create along with others. In fact, since nothing and nobody can exist in true isolation, co-creation is all there is. Furthermore, every person involved in co-creation has given their consent to what is happening to them and to everyone else.

The perception of injustice, in whatever area or form, is based on the concept of interference. It implies that there are people out there, situations, laws, organizations, societies, or even entire nations that have the power to prevent me from fulfilling my needs and desires or affect me in a negative way. We have been taught from an early age that there always has been, and continues to be, great injustice in this world. By opening any history book, we face event after event that tells of relentless bloodshed and tremendous suffering in almost every society that has lived on this planet. Millions of apparently innocent people have lost their lives because of wars fought out of greed for more land and worldly influence, or through acts of crime and terrorism.

We have come to believe that many people out there have only one thing in their mind, that is, to steal from others to enrich themselves. Furthermore, a large number of them do not even hesitate to take the life of another in order to have access to more possessions or greater degrees of power. Some merely want to take revenge for the injustice they believe has been committed against them or their loved ones.

The more recent 9-11-2001 landmark assault on thousands of civilians by terrorists using commercial jet planes as weapons of mass destruction seemed to have been one of the most senseless acts of hatred seen in history, completely beyond human comprehension. There are scandals popping up in every sector of society revealing how a few people with ill intentions can manipulate and cheat the rest of us. Drug cartels have infiltrated both the poor and rich sections of society, even using children as cheap distributors of life-altering drugs. Millions of innocent children are victims of slave labor or used as prostitutes. The stories of injustice in this world seem endless. From the simple act of stealing chewing gum in a grocery store to the large-scale exploitation of the world’s poorest countries, injustice appears to have infiltrated everywhere.

Born in Germany nine years after World War II, I became a witness to the painful aftermath of the war and the forceful division of my family and my country into two parts, and so I learned to believe in injustice as everyone else did. In addition, I felt so ashamed about what the Nazi-Germans had done to the rest of the world that I couldn’t wait to leave Germany after high school. For years, I tried to hide my German identity and rid myself of anything that had to do with my country.

If anyone had told me then that there was no injustice in this world, I would have said they were out of their mind; they would have to be someone who lived in a fantasy world of peace and harmony. Today, I cannot but think differently. I am aware that this is one of the most challenging concepts to understand and to accept, but it is also one of the most liberating ones, and it may perhaps be the only one that makes any real sense.

Injustice is an illusion that is currently in the process of demystification. Already, the old systems of maintaining justice are crumbling. Law and order is still maintained, but laws cannot guarantee justice. Many nations have had a high level of law and order, but at the same time, there was great injustice to their people; for example, in East Germany, in the Soviet Union, in Tibet and in China. We are about to witness the birth of a new justice system that is not based on human laws but on Divine Law.

Manmade laws are needed greatly at a time when polarity thinking dominates the collective consciousness of the population. As long as we inject the idea that there is a ‘right’ versus a ‘wrong’ into the atmosphere of collective thinking through our own thoughts and actions, we essentially create ‘injustice’ in this world. If this most basic form of judgment – seeing one thing as right and another as wrong – ceased to dominate our awareness, there would be much less injustice around us. This is actually happening already. Manmade law is being replaced gradually with natural law, and a daily-increasing number of people look toward nature, the natural environment, and the spirit within to know how to live their lives.

Much of the current strife and struggle is a result of this transformation.The search for natural alternative energy sources, the cleaning up of our rivers, lakes and air, the attempts to save and preserve species that are dying out, the emergence of alternative forms of medicine, etc. are all definitive indications that natural law is already awakening in the mass population. This, however, creates conflict, the struggle of having to let go of the old before we can accept the new.

A person experiences injustice in life because of a need to bring to the surface of awareness any form of injustice harbored in his or her own heart. Whether this injustice is rooted in the present life or previous lifetimes is irrelevant. Because they have not come to terms with an internal discrepancy, these people literally, though unconsciously, seek a situation that permits them to get in touch with their unforgiving feelings and judgments. Humans do not err, lie, cheat, steal, etc.; they only pretend to. They unknowingly play these roles for the sake of learning from each other about themselves.

Since the Law of Non-Interference cannot be broken, no matter what the circumstances, there can never be a true victim. And if there is no victim, there can be no victimizer. A presumed victim and their corresponding victimizer co-create a situation together which outwardly looks like a conflict but in truth is a spiritual dance. It is a process of gradual awakening that involves the clearing of dualistic perception and opening to the Love Source that they are. This mighty task has taken many of us innumerable lifetimes to tackle. Now, when the perception of duality is losing its frequency basis, we are collectively moving through the illusion of injustice. The purpose of creating the illusion of injustice for everyone on this planet has been a grand one. It has given us the opportunity to learn all about our three-dimensional world, and work through all the nooks and crannies that make it up, until we find our essential self (The One Eternal Spirit) reflected in it. The recognition of Spirit in matter is our process of ascension. This will bring both fulfillment to the natural justice system of the world (replacing the illusions of injustice) and also restore peace and harmony on Earth.

Mass consciousness is currently undergoing a tremendous transformation that requires the experience of injustice. Anyone who still has roots and beliefs of separation feels agonizing pain and suffering when exposed to personal and collective calamities. When terrorists attacked and destroyed the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon in Washington D.C., the senseless loss of human life was incomprehensible to almost the entire world population. It shook the very foundation of safety and security, and the belief in goodness as such.

On the other hand, it demonstrated to all of us that human life on Earth is the most precious commodity there is and that we can only survive and live through catastrophes like this when we pull together and become one united force. We realized that the petty things and differences that have so occupied our lives in the areas of politics, economics and human relationships are not that important anymore. The grave ‘injustice’ of the Attack on America carried a blessing of unconditional love, brotherhood and sisterhood into the masses that would otherwise never have been experienced by humanity. Many brave and honorable souls volunteered (on the level of their Higher Self) to initiate this urgently needed transition in the world by giving up their physical lives in the inferno of the 9-11 events – perhaps the world’s most important distress call ever made.

The distress call was and continues to be a wake-up call for us all. It urges us to find answers to the following questions: Do we continue supporting and encouraging injustice by condemning it or do we begin to forgive and respect those that incur it? Are those who commit such crimes not also people who are driven by incredible amounts of fear, anger, disappointment, abuse or other grievances that none of us has really given any attention to? Do we truly believe that the attacks were indiscriminately placed and that we have nothing to do with them except being innocent victims? Weren’t these young men, who blew themselves up to destroy others, once also beautiful, innocent children who wanted to be loved and held but were not? Who made them this bitter and why? Haven’t we all directly and indirectly contributed to the economic imbalances that have led to the extreme poverty and anguish experienced in the world today? How much do we really care about those living in horrid conditions of poverty and exploitation?

When I lived in India and other poor nations, I saw hundreds of thousands of people who literally owned nothing but their bare skin and only survived (or died) by eating scraps decomposing in massive heaps of garbage that contained, among other things, leftover foods. Children, dogs, cows, and millions of flies partook of the same ‘free meals’. The situation is even worse in Afghanistan. Have we not been breeding the very terrorists (through our insatiable desire for wealth and power) that now enter our space like angry sharks coming to our beaches in order to kill? Is retaliation the only answer to this problem?

When Mahatma Gandhi stated: “An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”, he knew that seeing and retaliating against the injustice done by others in truth fosters it even more and initiates new cycles of karma, pain and suffering. We have become so blind we really believe that when adversity comes to us someone or something else is responsible for it, not us. We will only be free of anger, terror and fear when our so-called enemies are free of anger, fear and terror. And this can only happen when we see others and other countries in the Oneness that underlies them all.

As long as we see injustice in the world, we create injustice in the world. And we create more and more of it until we discover the deceptive nature of this perception and move beyond the need for judgment. Justice and injustice are opposites that appear to be so real in life that we have a hard time not taking sides. Yet behind their appearance, they form a common bond. Both serve our Higher Spirit Self to become the only reference for how to live our life.

NJ Senate Resolution Urges NJ Supreme Court Justice Rivera-Soto to Resign

And the political snowball keeps rolling in New Jersey. On Thursday, February 17, 2011, the New Jersey Senate passed SR-105, a resolution urging Justice Roberto Rivera-Soto to resign his seat on the New Jersey Supreme Court.

Last December, Justice Rivera-Soto began abstaining from votes of the state’s highest court, stating that the court as presently constituted with “one Chief Justice, five Associate Justices and a Judge of the Appellate Division selected unilaterally by the Chief Justice,… is unconstitutional and its acts are ultra vires.”

Sponsored by Senator Nia Gill, D-Essex, the Senate resolution states:
“It is the sense of the Senate that the actions of are prejudicial to the administration of justice and constitute a serious violation of the public trust.”
The resolution is among a string of events that have unfolded recently in New Jersey politics, implicating the future of the state’s supreme court.

Last May 2010, Governor Christie announced that he would not be renominating New Jersey Supreme Court Justice John Wallace Jr., the only African-American serving on the court.

New Jersey Supreme Court Justices receive initial appointments for 7 years, and may thereafter be reappointed for life. The governor’s decision marked the first time a sitting justice would not receive reappointment.

To replace Justice Wallace, Governor Chris Christie nominated republican Anne Patterson, a partner at Riker, Danzig, Scherer, Hyland & Perretti, a large law firm in Morristown.

In response to Patterson’s nomination, state Senate President Stephen Sweeny, who served as acting governor during the snow storm of December 2010, stated that the legislature would not give advice and consent regarding Patterson’s nomination until Spring 2012, when Justice Wallace would have left under mandatory retirement.

After Justice Wallace left the bench in May 2010, Chief Justice Stuart Rabner invoked the “temporary assignment clause” of the New Jersey Constitution. The clause allows a senior judge of the lower Superior Court to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court. Chief Justice Rabner appointed Appellate Division Judge Edwin Stern, reasoning that the appointment was necessary due to the Supreme Court’s pressing caseload.

Following this appointment, Justice Rivera-Soto began abstaining from decisions as long as the Court remained “unconstituionally constituted.” In two consecutive opinions, he argued that the “temporary assignment clause” only allows the chief justice to appoint lower court judges when necessary to obtain a quorum.

In a more recent opinion, however, Justice Rivera-Soto has backed down from his stance, stating that he would only vote when the vote of the appointed justice was not the swing vote.

“I will cast a substantive vote in every case in which the judge of the Superior Court temporarily assigned to serve on the SupremeCourt participates except for those in which the temporarily assigned judge casts a vote that affects the outcome of the case.”

Online, the Senate’s resolution has sparked fierce reactions from both sides of the debate:
“Rivera-Sota is a blemish on the NJ Supreme Court. We should bring back a respectable judge like Wallace.”

“It is actually Sweeney and the Democrats who should resign or be impeached for thwarting Governor Christie’s constitutional right to appoint a new justice to the Supreme Court. At least [Rivera-Sota] has disclosed to everyone a reason for why he is doing what he does.”

Comments originally posted on

Mortgage Fraud Schemes in South Carolina – A Review For SC Criminal Attorneys, Lawyers & Law Firms

Mortgage fraud is problem that has reached epidemic proportions in the United States (US) in general and in South Carolina (SC) in particular. The white collar practitioner should be aware that mortgage fraud is generally investigated by the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), although other agencies routinely assist the FBI and/or take the lead in investigating a case. Some of the other federal agencies which investigate mortgage fraud crimes for criminal prosecution include, but are not limited to, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigative Division (IRS-CID), United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), U.S. Secret Service (USSS), U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of the Inspector General (HUD-OIG), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of the Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), the Department of Veterans Affairs-Office of the Inspector General (DVA-OIG) and U.S. Bankruptcy Trustees.

The FBI works extensively with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). FinCEN is a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury, created in 1990, that collects and analyzes information about financial transactions in order to fight financial crimes, including mortgage fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing. The FinCEN network is a means of bringing people and information together to combat complex criminal financial transactions such as mortgage fraud and money laundering by implementing information sharing among law enforcement agencies and its other partners in the regulatory and financial communities. South Carolina lawyers can keep abreast of mortgage fraud developments by visiting the respective websites of the FBI and FinCEN.

In South Carolina, mortgage fraud is generally prosecuted by federal prosecutors. The United States Attorney’s Office (USAO) and the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) Criminal Fraud Section handle the criminal prosecutions of mortgage fraud cases. The USAO in South Carolina has about 50 prosecutors in the state, and has offices in Charleston, Columbia, Florence, and Greenville. In the investigation stage, a person with possible knowledge or involvement in a mortgage fraud may be considered a witness, subject or target of the investigation. A subject is generally a person the prosecutor believes may have committed a mortgage fraud crime, whereas a target is a person the prosecutor believes has committed a crime such as mortgage fraud and the prosecutor has substantial evidence to support a criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecutions of mortgage fraud felony cases are usually initiated through the federal grand jury process. A federal grand jury consists of between 16 and 23 grand jurors who are presented evidence of alleged criminal activity by the federal prosecutors with the aid of law enforcement agents, usually FBI special agents. At least 12 members of the grand jury must vote in favor of an indictment charging mortgage fraud. South Carolina criminal defense lawyers are not allowed entry into the grand jury at any time, and prosecutors rarely fail to obtain an indictment after presentment of their case to the grand jury.

Often targets of a mortgage fraud prosecution are invited by the prosecution to avail themselves of the grand jury process and to testify in front of the grand jury. Generally, a South Carolina criminal defense attorney should not allow a named target of a federal criminal mortgage fraud investigation to testify before the grand jury. Subjects and witnesses in a mortgage fraud prosecution are often subpoenaed by the prosecutors to testify before the grand jury. A criminal defense attorney should likewise generally advise a witness or subject to not testify if any part of the testimony would possibly incriminate the client. With respect to a federal mortgage fraud investigation, when a citizen receives a target letter, subject letter, or a subpoena to testify before the grand jury, or is contacted in person by a law enforcement officer such as an FBI special agent, a South Carolina criminal lawyer who is experienced in federal prosecutions should be consulted immediately. One of the biggest mistakes a mortgage fraud target, subject or witness can make is to testify before the grand jury or speak to criminal investigators prior to consulting with a criminal defense attorney. The 5th Amendment to the Constitution allows any person, including a target, subject or witness in a mortgage fraud prosecution, to not incriminate himself or herself. Interestingly, there is no 5th Amendment protection for a corporation. Obviously, if a defendant has been indicted or arrested for a federal mortgage fraud crime in South Carolina, an experienced SC mortgage fraud lawyer should be consulted immediately.

An important practice tip for South Carolina attorneys representing clients who have decided to testify before the grand jury is to accompany the client to the grand jury court room. While not allowed in the grand jury proceeding itself, the attorney can wait just outside of the court room and the client is allowed to consult with the attorney for any question which is posed to the client by prosecutors or grand jurors. This is an effective way to help minimize any potential damaging statements by the client, and a great way to learn the focus of the prosecutor’s case. This approach makes it much easier to gain insights from the client as to the questions asked during the grand jury proceeding as opposed to debriefing the client after a sometimes long and grueling question and answer session which can last for hours.

South Carolina white collar criminal attorneys need to be aware of the types of mortgage fraud that are prevalent in the state in order to effectively identify and represent clients who are involved in mortgage fraud activities. Consumers need to be aware of the variations of mortgage fraud so that they do not unwittingly become a part of a scheme to defraud a bank or federally backed lending institution. Federal mortgage fraud crimes in South Carolina are punishable by up to 30 years imprisonment in federal prison or $1,000,000 fine, or both. It is unlawful and fraudulent for a person to make a false statement regarding his or her income, assets, debt, or matters of identification, or to willfully overvalue any land or property, in a loan or credit application for the purpose of influencing in any way the action of a federally backed financial institution.

Some of the applicable federal criminal statutes which may be charged in mortgage fraud indictments include, but are not limited to, the following:

• 18 U.S.C. § 1001 – Statements or entries generally
• 18 U.S.C. § 1010 – HUD and Federal Housing Administration Transactions
• 18 U.S.C. § 1014 – Loan and credit applications generally
• 18 U.S.C. § 1028 – Fraud and related activity in connection with identification documents
• 18 U.S.C. § 1341 – Frauds and swindles by Mail
• 18 U.S.C. § 1342 – Fictitious name or address
• 18 U.S.C. § 1343 – Fraud by wire
• 18 U.S.C. § 1344 – Bank Fraud
• 18 U.S.C. § 2 – Aiding and Abetting
• 18 U.S.C. § 371 – Conspiracy
• 42 U.S.C. § 408(a) – False Social Security Number

While states experiencing the highest number of mortgage fraud cases are California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Arizona, Colorado, Maryland, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia, the state of South Carolina has seen a huge rise in the number of mortgage fraud cases being prosecuted by the USAO, DOJ and FBI.

In South Carolina, a disproportionate number of mortgage fraud cases have occurred in the coastal region. Some of the South Carolina counties with high concentrations of mortgage fraud or bank fraud cases include Horry County, Florence County, Georgetown County, Charleston County, Berkeley County, Dorchester County, Beaufort County, Colleton County and Jasper County. Some of the South Carolina cities with high concentrations of mortgage fraud or bank fraud cases include Little River, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Murrells Inlet, Georgetown, Awendaw, Mt. Pleasant, Charleston, North Charleston, James Island, Isle of Palms, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach, Kiawah Island, Hollywood, Ravenel, Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head Island. The reason for the increased number of mortgage fraud and bank fraud criminal prosecutions in these areas is because large number of condominium, condotels, townhouse and similar real estate projects which proliferated in these areas. These real estate developments were popular in areas close to the waterfront and bank lenders were willing to loan money at a furious pace due to a perceived enormous demand.

There are a wide variety of schemes, artifices and conspiracies to perpetrate mortgage frauds and band frauds with which the South Carolina white collar criminal defense lawyer and consumers must be familiar. Typical mortgage fraud schemes or conspiracies that have occurred in South Carolina and elsewhere throughout the United States include the following:

Air Loans. The air loan mortgage fraud scheme is a loan obtained on a nonexistent property or for a nonexistent borrower. Professional scam artists often work together to create a fake borrower and a fake chain of title on a nonexistent property. They then obtain a title and property insurance binder to present to the bank. The scam artists often set up fake phone banks and mailboxes in order to create fake employment verifications and W-2s, home addresses and borrower telephone numbers. They may establish accounts for payments, and maintain custodial accounts for escrows. Phone banks are used to impersonate an employer, an appraiser, a credit agency, a law firm, an accountant, etc…, for bank verification purposes. The air loan scam artists obtain the loan proceeds and no property is ever bought or sold, and the bank is left with an unpaid loan that never had any collateral.

Appraisal fraud. Appraisal fraud is often an integral part of most mortgage fraud scams and occurs when a dishonest appraiser fraudulently appraises a property by inflating its value. In most cases, after the seller receives the closing proceeds, he will pay a kickback to the appraiser as a quid pro quo for the fake appraisal. In most cases, the borrower doesn’t make any loan payments and the house or property goes into foreclosure.

Equity Skimming. In an equity skimming mortgage fraud scheme, an investor often uses a straw buyer, false income documents, and false credit reports to obtain a mortgage loan in the straw buyer’s name. After the closing, the straw buyer signs the property over to the investor in a quit claim deed which relinquishes all rights to the property and provides no guaranty to title. The investor does not make any mortgage payments, and rents the property until foreclosure takes place several months later. Equity skimming also occurs when a scam artist purchases a residential property whose owner is in default on his mortgage and/or his real estate taxes, and then diverts rental income from the property for personal gain and does not apply this rental income toward mortgage payments, the payment of taxes and other property-related expenses.

Flipping. A flipping scheme occurs when the seller intentionally misrepresents the value of a property in order to induce a buyer’s purchase. Flipping mortgage fraud schemes usually involve a fraudulent appraisal and a grossly inflated sales price.

Foreclosure schemes. Foreclosure scheme scam artists prey on people with mounting financial problems that that place them in danger of losing their home. Homeowners in the early stages of foreclosure may be contacted by a fraudster who represents to the homeowner that he can get rid of his debt and save his house for an upfront fee, which the scam artist takes and then disappears. In a similar foreclosure scheme, Homeowners are approached by a scam artist who offers to help them refinance the loan. The homeowners are fraudulently induced to sign so-called “refinance” documents only to later find out that they actually transferred title to the house to the fraudster and then face eviction.

Nominee Loans/Straw buyers. One of the most frequent types of mortgage fraud occurs when a “straw buyer” is used to hide the identity of the true borrower who would not qualify for the mortgage. The straw buyer or nominee buyer generally has good credit. The scam artist usually fills out the loan application for the straw buyer, and falsifies the income and net worth of the straw buyer in order to qualify for the loan. These fraud scams were popularized with the advent of the “stated income” loans which did not require a borrower to prove his true income and net worth – the bank just believed the income and net worth that was “stated” on the loan application. Straw buyers are often duped into thinking that they’re investing in real estate that will be rented out, with the rental payments paying the mortgage, and are sometime paid a nominal fee outside of closing. In most case, no payments are made and the lender forecloses on the loan. Sometimes straw buyers are actually in on the scam and are getting a cut of the proceeds.

Silent Second. In the silent second mortgage fraud scheme, the buyer borrows the down payment for the purchase of the property from the seller through the execution of a second mortgage which is not disclosed to the lending bank. The lending bank is fraudulently led to believe that the borrower has invested his own money for the down payment, when in fact, it is borrowed. The second mortgage is generally not recorded to further conceal its status from the primary lending bank.

A mortgage fraud is usually reported to the FBI by the financial institution upon which the fraud has been committed. Pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act of 1970 (BSA), a bank must file a Suspicious Activity Report (SAR) with FinCEN if a customer’s actions indicate that the customer is laundering money or otherwise violating a federal criminal law such as committing mortgage fraud. See 31 C.F.R. § 103.18(a). A bank is required to file a SAR no later than 30 calendar days after the date of initial detection by the bank of facts that may constitute a basis for filing a SAR, unless no suspect was initially identified on the date of the detection, in which case the bank has up to 60 days to file the SAR. See 31 C.F.R. § 103.18(b). Once FinCEN has analyzed the information contained in the SAR, if a criminal activity is found to have occurred, then the case is turned over to the FBI and the DOJ or AUSO for investigation and prosecution. The rise in FBI SARs reports involving mortgage fraud went from approximately 2,000 in 1996 to over 25,000 in 2005. Of those 2005 SARs reports, 20,000 of involved borrower fraud, approximately 7,000 involved broker fraud, and approximately 2,000 involved appraiser fraud.

The FBI has identified a number of indicators of mortgage fraud of which the South Carolina criminal white collar lawyer needs to be aware. These include inflated appraisals or the exclusive use of one appraiser, increased commissions or bonuses for brokers and appraisers, bonuses paid (outside or at settlement) for fee-based services, higher than customary fees, falsifications on loan applications, explanations to buyers on how to falsify the mortgage application, requests for borrowers to sign a blank loan application, fake supporting loan documentation, requests to sign blank employee forms, bank forms or other forms, purchase loans which are disguised as refinance loans, investors who are guaranteed a re-purchase of the property, investors who are paid a fixed percentage to sell or flip a property, and when multiple “Holding Companies” are used to increase property values.

One of the first and biggest South Carolina mortgage fraud prosecutions occurred in the Charleston Division in the 1990’s. It involved nominee borrowers and straw loans made by Citadel Federal Saving and Loan. Over 10 straw purchasers were enticed into the real estate loans by getting paid fees for signing up for the loans. They did not put up any of their own money as part of the deal and when the loans went sour the bank was left with properties that were upside down, that is, the real estate was worth less the the amount of the loan. Some bank insiders were part of the scheme and got convicted for their respective roles.

The range of defendants that a SC criminal lawyer will represent in a typical mortgage fraud case may include straw borrowers or nominee borrowers, real estate agents, developers, appraisers, mortgage brokers, and sometimes even closing attorneys and bankers. Bankers often get involved in mortgage fraud scams because they are receiving kickbacks from the borrowers or are paid bonuses for the volume of loans made and thus ignore proper banking loan requirements and protocols in order to make more money. Close scrutiny should be given to bank loan applications, appraisals, HUD-1 closing statements, borrower’s W-2 and tax returns when analyzing a potential mortgage fraud case for a potential client.

Federal judges who impose sentences for mortgage fraud normally rely upon the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are now advisory as a result of the U.S. v. Booker case, when determining a sentence. A federal court calculates a particular guideline range by assessing a defendant’s criminal history, the applicable base offense level, and the amount of the actual or intended loss. Section 2B1.1 of the USSG sets forth a loss table which increases the base offense level according to the amount of money involved in the mortgage fraud. Generally, the more money which is lost in a mortgage fraud scam, the greater the sentence the defendant receives. In some cases, a defendant may be subjected to sentencing enhancements which means the defendant receives a greater sentence. A defendant may receive an enhancement for the role in the offense if the court determines that the defendant was an organizer, supervisor, or a recruiter, or used a sophisticated means to facilitate a crime, abused a position a trust, or targeted a vulnerable victim such as a disabled or elderly person. However, federal judges now have wide latitude for imposing a sentence because they must consider the broad statutory factors set forth in 18 U.S.C. 3553(a)which include the nature and circumstances of the offense and the history and characteristics of the defendant, the need for the sentence imposed to reflect the seriousness of the offense, to promote respect for the law, and to provide just punishment for the offense, the need to afford adequate deterrence to criminal conduct, the need to protect the public from further crimes of the defendant, the need to provide the defendant with needed educational or vocational training, medical care, or other correctional treatment in the most effective manner, the kinds of sentences available, the sentence recommended by the Sentencing Guidelines and any applicable guidelines or policy statement therein, the need to avoid sentence disparities, and the need for restitution.

There are some important strategic decisions which need to be made for the defendant who has been charged or indicted for mortgage fraud. The defendant and his lawyer should seriously consider the consequences of pleading guilty if he has in fact committed the crime. A mortgage fraud defendant can receive up to a 3 level downward departure for pleading guilty. A criminal lawyer representing a mortgage fraud defendant can also file a motion for a downward departure and/or a motion for a variance and argue factors to the court in support of an additional decrease in a defendant’s sentence. The mortgage fraud defendant’s criminal attorney should closely scrutinize the circumstances of the case and the defendant’s background and criminal history in order to help minimize the amount of time to be served. A valuable tip for an attorney representing a criminal mortgage fraud defendant in South Carolina is to consider mitigating factors such as disparate sentences, 5K departures for cooperation, aberrant behavior, property values, family ties, extraordinary rehabilitation, diminished mental capacity, extraordinary restitution should be considered as possible justifications for a lesser sentence.

A white collar criminal defense attorney in South Carolina must have an understanding of the basics of the mortgage fraud in order to adequately represent clients who have been charged or indicted with mortgage fraud violations. Recognizing the difference between the status of being a target, subject or witness can have important consequences in how a case is handled. A white collar bank fraud or mortgage fraud criminal conviction can have life altering consequences for those defendants convicted of the same. A defendant who is charged or indicted with the federal crime of mortgage fraud should consult with a SC criminal lawyer who is knowledgeable about the different types of these scams, how the scams are carried out, the law enforcement investigatory process, the grand jury process, substantive law regarding mortgage fraud, the applicable federal sentencing guidelines and approaches available to minimize a defendant’s potential sentence.

© 2010 Joseph P. Griffith, Jr.