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Fresh Meadows man arrested in mortgage scam: DA

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A former mortgage originator from Fresh Meadows was arrested last week on charges of bilking two Queens home buyers out of $19,000, the Queens district attorney said.

Frank Davis, of 67-00 192nd St., allegedly pretended to be a lawyer and home dealer and accepted two down payments but never took any steps to turn over the properties, Queens DA Richard Brown said. He has been charged with third-degree grand larceny and practicing or appearing as an attorney without being registered.

He was arrested May 15.

Davis once worked for Cross County Funding, a registered mortgage broker, but the company could not say if he was employed there at the time of the alleged thefts. Davis’s attorney declined to comment.

“If he acted in that capacity, I don’t know if I would have direct knowledge of it,” said Corey Langus, the manager of Cross County Funding in Douglaston. “I have no clue of any of it. Nobody has come to me and made a complaint as far as I know.”

Using a business card that described him as an attorney, Davis allegedly accepted a $15,000 “down payment” from Rudolph Young, a 58-year-old nursing home aide, on April 24, 2000, Brown said. Young addressed a check to Davis under the impression it would be used toward the purchase of a home at 1604 Caffrey Ave. in Far Rockaway, but he never heard from Davis again, Brown said.

Daphne Smith, 64, of St. Albans, said she knew Davis for about two years, and was allegedly scammed for $4,000 on Dec. 8, 2000, when she tried to buy a home on 149th Street in Rosedale, Brown said. This time Davis allegedly used the money to help pay off back rent, which he or Maxine Davis, who is believed to be his wife, owed to her landlord, an attorney for the landlord said.

Davis allegedly instructed Smith to make a bank check payable to the law firm of Anthony Mordente, who represented Maxine Davis’s landlord in a November 2000 civil suit against her to obtain overdue rent payments, Brown said. Smith complied, believing Mordente was an attorney for the 149th Street property, Brown added.

When Mordente received the bank check, he said he assumed it was a legitimate payment because there was no indication it came from Smith. Davis told the authorities that he never gave Smith her money back because she became abusive to him in 2001, according to a report filed by Detective Philip Smith, who investigated the case.

Davis was arraigned last Thursday and if he is convicted of all charges, he could face up to seven years in prison, Brown said.

Reach reporter Brendan Browne by email at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 229-0300, Ext. 155.

Posted 7:05 pm, October 10, 2011
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