Franklin County Grand Jury Indicts Local Man For Multiple Mortgage Fraud Related Offenses

Posted on 12/20/2010

Defendant: Daniel J. Nichter

Today, Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien announces the indictment of Daniel J. Nichter by the Franklin County Grand Jury. Nichter was indicted for fraud-related offenses involving one count (F-1) Theft, one count (F-1) Engaging In a Pattern Of Corrupt Activity, twenty–two counts (F-2) Identity Fraud, twenty counts (F-3) Forgery, one count (F-5) Receiving Stolen Property, and three counts (F-4) Receiving Stolen Property, for a total of 48 counts. The Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office will be prosecuting the case.

The fraud related charges in the indictment pertain to appraisals and mortgage brokering activity performed by Nichter. Nichter was a licensed appraiser from Sept. 14, 1993 through March 28, 2008, at which time the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate, revoked his appraiser’s license.  Nichter also had a Loan Originator’s license (this license was formerly known as a Loan Officer’s license).  This license was issued by the Ohio Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions, on May 1, 2005, and has been in a non-active escrow status since June 8, 2009.  This license allowed Nichter to broker mortgage deals and to receive commissions on those deals during the time period that his Loan Originator’s license was active.  The following is alleged in the indictment:

  1. Nichter continued to perform appraisals on properties after his Appraiser’s license was revoked.  Nichter would complete these appraisals under the name of licensed appraisers who had no knowledge of the appraisals.  Additionally, these licensed appraisers had not authorized Nichter to perform the appraisals under their names.
  2. During 2009 and 2010, Nichter completed at least 23 appraisals of central Ohio properties under the names of other licensed appraisers.  These appraisals also contained falsified information which inflated the values of the properties.  Nichter was the loan originator on almost all of the 23 previously mentioned properties and received mortgage brokering commissions on these deals when the loans were issued.  
  3. All but a few of the appraisals resulted in mortgage loans being issued by a number of different lenders.  The total amount of these loans exceeded Three Million Dollars ($3,000,000).

If found guilty on all charges, Nichter faces up to a maximum sentence exceeding 50 years, and if found guilty of both counts one and two, there is a minimum mandatory sentence of ten years incarceration”, stated O’Brien. The indictment was the result of an investigation by the Central Ohio Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which operates in conjunction with the Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission. The task force is led by detectives of the Columbus Division of Police Economic Crime Unit and also includes Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien’s Office, investigators from the Ohio Attorney General’s office, the Office of Inspector General for Housing and Urban Development, the Upper Arlington Division of Police, and other state and federal agencies.