JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A former executive of Alpharetta-based DocX, pleaded guilty Nov. 20 to a six-year scheme to prepare and file more than one million fraudulently signed and notarized mortgage-related documents with property recorders’ offices throughout the United States. She faces charges from multiple states, including Florida.
Lorraine Brown, 56, of Alpharetta, faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the crime.
“Lorraine Brown participated in a scheme to fabricate mortgage-related documents at the height of the financial crisis,” said Florida Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. “She was responsible for more than a million fraudulent documents entering the system, directing company employees to forge and falsify documents relied on by property recorders, title insurers and others. Appropriately, she now faces the prospect of prison time.”
Brown was the chief executive of DocX, which was involved in the preparation and recordation of mortgage-related documents throughout the country since the 1990s. DocX was acquired by Lender Processing Services Inc. (LPS), based in Jacksonville, Fla.
Servicers hired DocX to assist in creating and executing mortgage-related documents filed with recorders’ offices. Only specific personnel at DocX were authorized by the clients to sign the documents.
According to plea documents, employees of DocX, at the direction of Brown and others, began forging and falsifying signatures on the mortgage-related documents that they had been hired to prepare and file with property recorders’ offices.
Unbeknownst to the clients, Brown directed the authorized signers to allow other DocX employees and temp workers, who were not authorized signers, to sign the mortgage-related documents and have them notarized as if actually executed by the authorized DocX employee. This was done to push out more documents faster, to maximize profits.
Between 2003 and 2009, DocX generated approximately $60 million in gross revenue. LPS closed DocX in early 2010 after LPS learned of the activity. Brown was fired.
Many of these forged documents – particularly mortgage assignments, lost note affidavits and lost assignment affidavits – were later relied upon in court proceedings, including property foreclosures and federal bankruptcy actions.