3 more notaries face charges in robo-signing scandal
5 December 2011
Three more notaries face criminal charges in the Las Vegas-area foreclosure robo-signing scandal that erupted Nov. 16.
The Nevada Attorney General’s Office on Monday revealed criminal charges were filed Nov. 30 in Las Vegas Justice Court against notaries Meghan Shaw, Jennifer Bloecker, also know as Jennifer Lowe, and Joseph Noel. They are charged with misdemeanor counts of notarization of the signature of a person not in their presence.
The alleged violations date to 2005 and 2008, the complaint says.
The “person” named in the criminal complaints was Gerri Sheppard in the cases of Shaw and Bloecker, and Gary Trafford in the case of Noel. Sheppard and Trafford were named in an indictment made public Nov. 16.
The state alleges the California residents, employees of Lender Processing Services Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla., were responsible for the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008.
The state alleges that Trafford and Sheppard directed employees to forge the defendants’ names on foreclosure documents and then to notarize the signatures they forged, in the process fraudulently attesting that Trafford and Sheppard actually signed the documents.
While the state says the alleged scheme calls into question the validity of foreclosures associated with the documents, Lender Processing Services has said there were no wrongful foreclosures in which someone not in default on a mortgage lost a home.
Of the three notaries named in Monday’s announcement, the state said in a press release: “Through an investigation led by the Attorney General’s office the notaries charged in this case have confirmed that their job duties included signing another person’s name on a document and then notarizing that signature.”
A fourth notary public and a witness, Tracy Lawrence, pleaded guilty but was found dead prior to sentencing.
Police have not been investigating her death as a homicide, and a spokeswoman for the attorney general’s office said the prosecution of others in the case would continue.
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