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Alexandria man sentenced to three years in prison for mortgage scheme

A 30-year-old Alexandria man was sentenced in federal court today for concealing more than $400,000 in payments to himself and others from mortgage loan proceeds.

In Minneapolis, United States District Court Judge James M. Rosenbaum sentenced Micah John Beaumia to three years in prison on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Beaumia was indicted on May 11, 2009, and pleaded guilty on October 20, 2009.

Following today's sentencing, Julio LaRosa, special agent in charge of the IRS criminal investigation division in St. Paul, said, "Mortgage fraud schemes, like all financial crimes, threaten the financial health of our communities. As the fraudulent financial transactions are uncovered, so are the orchestrators behind the scheme."

In his plea agreement, Beaumia admitted devising a scheme concealing payments from mortgage loan proceeds by diverting them to himself and another buyer of real properties through the use of fraudulent underwriting and closing documentation.

Beaumia executed this scheme from 2005 through 2006 through his involvement with LHS Mortgage, Inc., located in Burnsville and a second Minnesota mortgage company.

Beaumia acted as a mortgage broker and caused fraudulent loan application documents to be provided to potential lenders. These applications falsely overstated the true purchase price of the properties, concealed payments from the loan proceeds to Beaumia and a relative, and, in some instances, misrepresented the identity of the mortgage broker, according to investigators.

Based on the fraudulent documentation, the proposed loans totaling more than $2.2 million were approved for 13 Minnesota properties.

After each loan was approved, the lender wire transferred funds to a Minnesota-based title company.

For example, $81,460.05 was wired on October 7, 2005, from New Century Mortgage Corp. to First Advantage Title. Beaumia then worked with a closing agent at First Advantage to conceal the payments.

That closing agent was Jill M. Lehn, 41, Prior Lake. She was sentenced to two years in prison in January 2008 on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in connection with a mortgage loan pay-out scheme.

According to Beaumia's plea agreement, Lehn also provided false settlement statements to conceal the scheme from lenders.

Beaumia's concealed payments included an $18,000 check that on October 17, 2005, he endorsed over to Lucky's Garage as partial payment for a Wild West Dragon motorcycle.