A federal grand jury in Baltimore indicted six people in a $4.5 million mortgage scheme that allegedly defrauded banks, home buyers and sellers across the state, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday.

The indictment said a group of six people worked in various stages of the mortgage process and set up shell companies to handle the illicit proceeds. One defendant, Gregory Green of Waldorf, was a contract specialist with the U.S. Department of Justice. He no longer works at the agency.

The alleged scheme typically worked like this, according to the FBI: The group would find a homeowner who wanted to sell and a buyer, then falsify documents, asking banks for a mortgage that was larger than what the house would sell for. They then took the extra money from the mortgage and sent it to the shell companies, to be distributed among themselves.

In some cases, they were supposed to pay off the previous mortgage holders after the sales, but did not do so. In one case, the group "sold" a home it did not own by falsifying documents.

Those charged in the indictment are Bonnie Kreamer, who had her license to issue title insurance revoked by the state a decade ago but continued to process titles; Niesha Williams, who worked as a mortgage broker; Rhonda Scott, who bought and sold real estate; Emeka Udeze, also a mortgage broker; Demetrius Peete, a real estate agent; and Green, who bought and sold properties.

Kreamer worked at Sanford Title Services at 8900 Snowden River Parkway in Columbia. The indictment was unsealed on Friday after authorities arrested Kreamer, Peete and Green.

carrie.wells@baltsun.com