St Charles Makes Money Magazine’s 50 Best Places To Live In America List

Money Magazine just released itsThe Best Places To Live In Americalist and St Charles came in at number 32 on the list and was one of only two cities in Missouri to make the list.  The other was Lee’s Summit, in the Kansas City area, which came in at number 41 on the list.

In choosing the best cities to live in, Money Magazine looked at cities with populations of at least 50,000 people, then eliminated any place that had either a crime rate more than double the national crime risk rate, a median income of less than 85% of the state’s median household income, or a lack of ethnic diversity.  After that step, they were left with 583 cities that “qualified”.  From there, Money says they “then collected more than 135,000 different data points to narrow the list. We considered data on each place’s economic health, cost of living, diversity, public education, income, crime, ease of living, and amenities.”  Their reporters then even went so far as to interview residents and checked out the neighborhoods of the best scoring cities to narrow down the list to the top 50 in the country.

Former Mortgage Broker, California Woman Plead Guilty to Mortgage Fraud

Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that two more defendants have pleaded guilty in federal court to charges related to mortgage fraud schemes, including a $12.6 million conspiracy that involved 25 upscale residential properties in Lee’s Summit, Missouri and Raymore, Missouri and a property-flipping scheme in Kansas City, Missouri.

Cynthia D. Jordan, 43, of Lee’s Summit, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs on Friday, May 21, 2010, to mail fraud and wire fraud. Jordan, who was a mortgage loan broker for various mortgage brokers in the Kansas City area, admitted that she participated in a property flipping scheme. Anahit Nshanian, 30, of Long Beach, California, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge John T. Maughmer on Thursday, May 20, 2010, to her role in the $12.6 million conspiracy.

Jordan and Nshanian are among 18 defendants, all of whom have now pleaded guilty.

Jordan admitted that she was involved in a scheme to flip properties — buying residential properties that could immediately be sold in flip transactions for substantially more than the purchase price, without improvements to the properties. Jordan obtained mortgage loans to purchase the properties by submitting fraudulent documentation and making false representations. Jordan falsely represented that she would occupy the homes as her primary residence. As a result of the scheme, Jordan obtained money from the loan proceeds and directed loan proceeds be paid to others under the guise of false invoices and other false documents.

As part of the scheme, Jordan purchased a Kansas City property for $355,000. At the time she entered the contract, she and co-conspirators planned to sell the property before a mortgage payment was due so that she did not have to make a loan payment. Jordan signed a contract to sell the property for $555,000 five days later, for which she received $17,500. Two co-conspirators, as a result of submitting fraudulent invoices, received a total of $172,974.

Jordan also purchased another Kansas City property for $537,000 that she agreed to sell within six days of her purchase for $775,000. Jordan received $17,173 and two co-conspirators, as a result of submitting fraudulent invoices, received a total of $193,000.

Under the terms of today’s plea agreement, the government and Jordan agree that the sentence imposed should not exceed nine years in federal prison without parole. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Nshanian admitted that she was involved in a scheme to buy and sell new homes — all of which were built by Jerry R. Emerick, 40, of Raymore — in the Raintree and Belmont Farms subdivisions in Lee’s Summit and the Eagle Glen subdivision in Raymore from February 2005 through May 2007. Buyers purchased the homes at inflated prices, obtaining mortgage loans for more than the actual sale price by providing false information to mortgage lenders, then kept the extra proceeds. Buyers created shell companies for the purpose of receiving those kickbacks from Emerick, with kickbacks of up to $125,000 on each house. Emerick pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing.

In total during the course of the conspiracy, mortgage lenders approved loans for 25 homes totaling more than $12.6 million. From that total, buyers received approximately $2.3 million without the lenders’ knowledge. Nshanian received approximately $148,614 in kickbacks.

Nshanian purchased two properties in Lee’s Summit as part of the conspiracy. In obtaining mortgage loans, Nshanian made material misrepresentations upon which the lenders relied. Nshanian also admitted that she received money back unbeknownst to the lenders.

Nshanian received a $510,000 loan for one property; after closing, she received an $89,307 kickback, of which co-defendant Jerome Shade Howard, 41, of Anaheim, Calif., received $20,693. Nshanian received a $657,500 loan for another property; after closing, she received a $80,000 kickback and Howard received $25,000.

Under federal statutes, Nshanian is subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Linda Parker Marshall and Kathleen D. Mahoney. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and IRS-Criminal Investigation.