Otsego Frauds: City Pages Ads Some Color

by Alex Stenback on February 16, 2008

City Pages Feature Story ads some color to the mortgage/real estate fraud ring in Otsego:

There were a dozen separate applications submitted on Clewette’s behalf. She saw only one of them. There were two requests per property—for a first and second mortgage, a not-uncommon practice in the market at the time—totaling nearly $2 million. On every one of Clewette’s loan applications, the box next to "primary residence" is checked and the box next to "investment property" is blank. Her reported income was more than triple her actual income of $27,000, and she was asked to sign only one of the 12 applications. On most of them, in the space reserved for the "interviewer" who filled out the form, the American Wholesale employee who signed was either the imprisoned John Searle or the disappeared Brian Matheson Sr.

Meanwhile, one of the alleged crooks, unwinds the remnants of a high life built on other people’s money, lies, and who knows what else:

Flavin’s yacht, the Nothin’ but Trouble, is up for sale on Craigslist. The party bus is up there, too ("Have your own rolling money maker"). His half-million-dollar Maple Grove estate is for rent, and his Minnetonka office suite—the one Owens raided in December—is totally cleared out.

Nothing But Trouble [City Pages]

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Ben February 17, 2008 at 4:32 pm


kevin s. February 18, 2008 at 3:06 pm

My wife and I got bait and switched on or paperwork by a company called Tri-Minnesota Mortgage, which also engaged in straw-buying schemes before closing its doors a few months ago.

I’ll admit it was very satisfying to see an ad for the shiny new Jaguar my broker had to put up for sale. I’d prefer prison, but he’ll probably find his way there eventually.

Johnny Northside February 21, 2008 at 9:53 pm

I looked up some stuff online about Tri-Minnesota Mortgage and found complaints (yours?) about bait-and-switch.

When you say he’ll find his way to prison eventually…have to taken an active, “good citizen” role and forwarded the information you have to the FBI? Where was the house in question? I know City Councilmember Barb Johnson has been very active in gathering information about mortgage fraud on the North Side.

If seeing the Jag put up for sale was satisfying, imagine how satisfying an indictment would be, if you could bring that about!

RonaldMiller March 17, 2008 at 4:19 pm

Has anybody ever looked into the fraud on Cardiff Ln in Eden Prairie???? 27 homes on this street have all gone to sheriff sale in last few months. Fraud Fraud Fraud

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