In sworn testimony, a former paralegal in one of the foreclosure mills under investigation describes for the Florida Attorney General lawyers a secret system designed for speed at any cost.
Attorneys and staff members forged signatures and changed dates, casually passed around notary stamps, and notarized stacks of blank documents to be filled in later, said the employee, Tammie Lou Kapusta.
At the Law Offices of David J. Stern in Broward County, where Kapusta worked, long “signing tables” were set up across eight floors and employees would process 250 documents per floor each day.
They commonly forged the signature of Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Samons, at Samons’ direction, Kapusta said.
Company lawyers were overheard saying they worried about breaking the law or getting disbarred, but Kapusta said they worried more about losing their jobs.
OFF SHORE GUAM AND PHILLIPINES OUTSOURCES PROVIDED CASE SUMMARIES OF CLAIMED “UNPAID PRINCIPAL BALANCES” OF AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS
12 Q Okay. What were you told about these
16 Q Did they prepare anything else?
17 A Not that I’m aware of.
18 Q Did they provide documents?
19 A Not that I’m aware of.
20 Q So if they were preparing the casesums what
21 exactly were they doing?
22 A They were inputting the information to create
23 the documents. Casesum takes the referral from the
24 lender and creates a document in David Stern’s office
25 with all of the information that the lender provided.
1 In other words, like the UPBs.
2 Q UPB?
3 A Unpaid principal balance. The lender’s
4 information, last known address, and stuff like that
5 that the bank would have on file for that.
6 Q Instead of having to do it here in his office
7 they would do it in Guam or the Philippines?
8 A Correct. Because our office was not putting
9 out enough work.
10 Q Okay. Do you know what the name of these
11 companies were?
12 A No, I do not.
————————————————————————————-PROPER SERVICE OF PROCESS NOT IMPORTANT, SLOWED THEM DOWN AND WAS EXPENSIVE
13 knowledge tell the process servers just to serve
15 A I don’t know that she told them that but when
16 we would get the phone calls it would be what she would
17 call a business decision on whether the service was
18 completed or not. We were directed to do whatever she
20 Q Didn’t the process server deliver a return of
22 A Yes.
23 Q And would they say that it was served?
24 A Yes.
25 Q And oftentimes they weren’t? Is that what
1 you’re saying?
2 A Correct.
EXECUTIONS OF CLAIMED ASSIGNMENTS OF “LENDERS'” PURPORTED PROPERTY RIGHTS IN AMERICAN HOMEOWNERS’ DEEDS OF TRUST WERE COMMONLY FORGED BY UNAUTHORIZED PARTIES, NOTARIZED IMPROPERLY AND FRAUDULENTLY, AND RECORDED
21 A Assignments were prepared again from the
22 casesum. All of our stuff comes from the casesum. They
23 would be stamped and signed by a notary or not. Per
24 floor we had a designated spot to place them and Cheryl
25 would come once a day and sign them.
1 Q Sign them as what?
2 A As —
3 Q For the bank?
4 A Correct.
5 Q Or for MERS or whoever it was for?
6 A Correct.
7 Q Would these notaries be there watching her as
8 she signed?
9 A No.
10 Q She would just sit there and sign stacks of
12 A Correct. As far as notaries go in the firm I
13 don’t think any notary actually used their own notary
14 stamp. The team used them.
15 Q There were just stamps around?
16 A Yes.
17 Q And you actually saw that?
18 A I was part of that.
19 Q You did it? Are you a notary?
20 A No, I’m not.
21 Q Did you sign as a witness?
22 A I did not. I signed as a witness on one
23 document and after that I decided that I didn’t want to
24 put my name as a witness anymore.
25 Q Tell me about the stamps. You stamped them?
1 A Yeah, I had stamps. Each team had a notary on
2 them or notaries that I was aware of. Whether they were
3 or weren’t wasn’t —
4 Q You had stamps?
5 A Correct. We would stamp them and they would
6 get signed.
7 Q Stamp them in blanks?
8 A Yes.
9 Q Who would sign them?
10 A Other people on the team that could sign the
11 signature of the person or just a check on there or
13 Q Was that common practice?
14 A Yes.
15 Q Was that standard practice?
16 A Pretty much.
17 Q What about the witnesses?
18 A Those would be signed by juniors who were —
19 Q Standing there?
20 A Here, sign this. It has to go to Cheryl, sign
21 it. Then it would go and sit at the desk where Cheryl
22 would sign everything.
23 Q Out of view of the notary and out of view of
24 the witnesses?
25 A Correct.
7 A Yes.
8 Q Who was that?
9 A There were people that were responsible for
10 signing Cheryl’s name. Cheryl, Tammie Sweat, and Beth
11 Cerni. Those were the only three people that could sign
12 Cheryl’s name. If you ever look at assignments you’ll
25 A Yes.
1 Q That wasn’t Cheryl?
2 A Yes. All the time.
3 Q Did Cheryl know about this?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Was it at her direction?
6 A Yes.
FRAUDULENT INTENT AND KNOWLEDGE
3 A Yes.
4 Q How do you know that he was? What makes you
5 think that he was aware of this?
6 A Because Cheryl and David had daily meetings.
7 David knew the practice that was going on. David’s
8 office happened to be right outside — I sat right in
9 front of David’s office. I’m well aware of what
10 transpired. Cheryl’s office was here. Around the
11 corner was David’s office. Everything was in the loop.
12 He was well aware of what was going on. I mean, you
13 could hear the screaming conversations. Nothing was
14 really a secret on the fourth floor because that’s where
15 Cheryl is.
16 Q Who was screaming at who?
17 A They were screaming at each other.
18 Q They were screaming at each other?
19 A Yes.
20 Q Do you know over what?
21 A Files not moving fast enough. Just stuff like
23 Q Business stuff?
24 A Correct.
13 see that they are not all the same.
TO BE CONTINUED…..