Fraudster hires strippers as loan processors, scams victims out of $95m, assaults prosecutor

by Ryan Smith25 Feb 2014
So if you’re arrested after being on the lam for nine months to avoid a 13-year sentence for mortgage fraud, what’s the very last thing you want to do?

If you answered, “Assault a federal prosecutor,” you’re smarter than Ronnie Duke.

The 46-year-old Michigan resident, who fled in June to avoid a prison sentence for participating in one of the largest mortgage scams in the nation, was arrested Monday and allegedly assaulted the prosecutor at his arraignment, according to a Detroit News article.

“He suddenly just bolted and assaulted her,” U.S. District Court spokesman Rod Hansen told the News. “It was only a matter of seconds before the marshals subdued him. It was clearly more than a shove.”

Duke, who has a rap sheet stretching back to his teenage years, was convicted for participating in a mortgage scheme that cost its victims nearly $95 million in losses, the News reported. Prosecutors say Duke and his co-conspirators used phony documents to get hundreds of mortgage loans between 2003 and 2007, then used the loan proceeds to buy cars, boats, luxury vacations and even a nightclub.

Duke himself created fake title companies, collaborated with appraisers on the fraud and hired former strippers as loan processors, the News reported. Prosecutors say he and his co-conspirators secured more than 450 loans in the Detroit area as part of the fraud.

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