Four charged in new house 'flipping' cases


Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges against four defendants in three new property "flipping" cases and, according to court documents, all of them have agreed to plead guilty.

Named in the charges are:

Andrew Michael Bogdan Jr., 36, of Abingdon, who is charged with conspiracy to make false statements and to commit wire fraud. The charging document says he induced lenders to provide mortgages that exceeded the value of numerous properties. Prosecutors say Bogdan bought many of the properties, obtaining loans for more than the price he was paying, and splitting the excess funds with others involved in the transactions.

The charging document lists 64 Patterson Park-area properties on which Bogdan or someone acting on his behalf allegedly obtained loans totaling nearly $3 million between September 1995 and June 2000.

Walter Duersch, 47, of Overlea, who is charged with one count of mail fraud. Real estate records show that Duersch, operating through several corporations, has bought and quickly resold at much higher prices dozens of Baltimore houses in recent years. Prosecutors charge that, aided by appraisers and settlement attorneys, Duersch falsified or arranged for falsification of numerous documents, including property appraisals, to defraud lenders into financing inflated deals.

Duersch was once a business partner of Robert L. Beeman of Wilmington, Del., who pleaded guilty last year in a flipping case and was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison. At one time, he and Beeman worked together on flipping deals.

George A. Schiaffino, 48, a Perry Hall real estate agent, and William Dennis White, 47, of Perry Hall, who are charged with making false statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in connection with a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration, a HUD agency.

Schiaffino was the owner and president of a real estate firm, Century 21 Kayhouse Realty. White is described in the charging document as an unlicensed real estate agent with the firm.

The charging document said Schiaffino and White devised a plan to defraud HUD and to use false documents and statements to obtain mortgages from lenders. It said they bought low-cost properties and sold them to buyers who could not qualify for FHA-backed loans.

It pointed to 16 mortgages that allegedly were "fraudulently obtained." All of them have gone into default and some have been the subject of foreclosure action, the charging document said.

Last year HUD barred Schiaffino and his firm from all dealings with the federal government for three years, saying he had violated its regulations in obtaining FHA-backed loans for buyers.

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