Michael B. Gray, Chief Financial Fraud Investigator, received the 2013 Investigator of the Year Award from the Association of Real Estate License Law Officials (ARELLO®).He was also recognized by ARELLO® as Investigator of the Year in 2004.
Gray investigated a complex “builder kickback” scheme in which real estate agents and firms listed properties at inflated prices for a builder and solicited buyers through promoters.
Kickbacks were paid to promoters and buyers from property sales proceeds and not disclosed on loan application documents or HUD-1 settlement statements. Real estate licensees collected and distributed the illegal kickbacks and/or received real estate commissions from transactions involving hundreds of homes and over $42 million in illegal loans. Property foreclosures resulted when investors were unable to rent or sell as promised.
Gray’s work led to license revocations for North Carolina licensees and enabled federal law enforcement officials to obtain criminal convictions and sentences for the licensees and other participants.
With the Commission for 17 years, Gray was named Chief Financial Fraud Investigator in 2010 for the Financial Fraud Unit, which investigates mortgage fraud cases involving real estate licensees. His work fostered a cooperative relationship with federal officials in the investigation and prosecution of fraudulent real estate transactions. He holds the ARELLO® “Certified Real Estate Investigator” (CREI) designation.
This article came from the October 2013-Vol44-2 edition of the bulletin.