They've got muck; we've got rakes. TPM Muckraker
Home and Margaret Elizabeth Broderick were indicted last week after they allegedly "devised a scheme and artifice to defraud, and to obtain money and property by means of false pretenses," according to the indictment.
Home and Broderick allegedly operated a group called "The Individual Rights Party; Mortgage Rescue Service" in south Tucson, that advertised that they could help individuals whose mortgages were in foreclosure -- for $500 a pop. "In fact," the indictment alleges, "[Home and Broderick]'s method of defeating foreclosure consisted of filing paperwork making frivolous arguments to courts that ultimately did not provide relief to those individuals."
Among the paperwork was one Involuntary Petition in Bankruptcy against the U.S. government worth over $3 billion, and 173 allegedly fraudulent Proof of Claim forms totaling over $250 billion on behalf of people in foreclosure.
Home and Broderick are also alleged to have registered the names "Federal National Mortgage Association" and "Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation" with the Arizona Secretary of State as trade names. These are the same names as the government-sponsored organizations more commonly known as Fanny Mae and Freddie Mac.
The pair then allegedly filed deeds with county officials for real property that the real Fanny and Freddie had acquired, and "conducted purported transfers with at least 28 properties in the District of Arizona and elsewhere owned by the true" Fanny and Freddy to the "Independent Rights Party," which was controlled by Home and Broderick. They would then rent out the properties.
According to a press release, the three counts of bankruptcy fraud each carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine, or both, and the seven counts of mail and wire fraud each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both.
Home was arrested in July after a criminal complaint charged him with two counts of false claims in bankruptcy. In the initial complaint, Home was identified as a "sovereign citizen" -- someone who doesn't believe in the authority of the U.S. government. "The anti-government paranoia of so-called 'sovereign citizens' becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy when they use their false claims and fraudulent practices to rip-off others," U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke said in a release about those charges.
Home had been campaigning for mayor of Tucson but dropped out in June after a court case challenged his residency. In that particular case he argued: "I reside within my body. That is my definition of residency."
He was also recently thrown out of bankruptcy hearings for the Chicago-based Giordano's pizza chain, after he made vague threats and generally disrupted the proceedings. Home had filed a $150 million lien against Giordiano's, which the pizza chain's trustee said is fraudulent.
The criminal complaint and the latest superseding indictment against Home cite the example of "J.A.," who "owned and operated a business in Chicago" as one of Home's allegedly false bankruptcy claims. This is likely John Apostolou, who owned Giordano's, and had sought help from Home in the chain's bankruptcy case.