|Nicole Lyder is being held on $500,000 bail.|
A Boston mortgage broker was charged yesterday with using forged bank statements and tax returns and other false documents to help unqualified home buyers secure subprime loans.
Nicole Lyder, whose loan practices were the subject of a Boston Sunday Globe story in January, was arrested Tuesday at a Norwood hotel by local police after the hotel manager suspected she was using a stolen charge card.
Norwood police arrested her on two felony charges, for identity theft for using someone else's credit card to reserve the hotel room and for possession of an illegal substance, said Paul Bishop, a police department spokesman. Yesterday, Norwood police transferred her to state custody to face the mortgage charges.
She was indicted last week by a Suffolk County grand jury on 21 counts of forgery and using false documents to obtain loans for home buyers, in a case brought by Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley's office.
The mortgage case arose from four loans that Lyder helped obtain for clients who were low-income, unemployed, or marginally employed. Between November 2005 and June 2006, she used false bank statements and deposit slips, tax returns, and rent verifications to secure mortgages for clients to buy houses in Dorchester, Randolph, and Taunton for between $325,000 and $529,000, David Waterfall, assistant attorney general, told a Suffolk Superior Court judge yesterday afternoon.
In two cases, the borrowers were single mothers who gave up subsidized housing to purchase homes that they ultimately could not afford. Borrowers in two of the loans have since lost them to foreclosure; the other two had been in foreclosure.
The mortgages were made by California-based Fremont Investment & Loan, according to loan documents. Coakley's office recently charged Fremont, which no longer sells mortgages, with predatory lending. Fremont has denied the charges.
The state also charged Lyder with fraudulently obtaining a car loan to buy herself a $44,000 Land Rover.
The 33-year-old Lyder pleaded not guilty. She is being held in the Suffolk County jail in Boston in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Her two children, who were with her at the time of her arrest in Norwood, are being cared for by relatives, Waterfall said.
Waterfall said there were numerous other arrest warrants outstanding against her around the state, including for charges of identity fraud.
The loan broker is a Boston native. She has family in Massachusetts and attended Boston University for two years, said her court-appointed attorney, Paul Davenport.
A hotel manager at the Marriott Residence Inn in Norwood suspected the American Express card used to secure Lyder's room was stolen. Police determined the card number was provided to the Norwood hotel by a friend of Lyder's who worked at a Boston hotel, according to the arrest report.
Lyder first told police she was a victim of domestic violence in New York and had left that situation. The arrest report said police then verified that the American Express card's owner did not know his card was being used, that "she was not being truthful about her identity," and that she had 15 pills of the painkiller Percocet in the hotel room.
The police also found evidence that indicated Lyder may still have been involved in mortgages while living in the hotel, according to Waterfall and Norwood police. Police found a notebook with a list of companies that give loans without credit checks, as well as names of people, account numbers, and real estate listings.
Kimberly Blanton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.