March 16, 2010
Western District of Missouri
Contact: (816) 426-3122
KANSAS CITY, MO—Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that an Overland Park, Kan., man pleaded guilty in federal court today to actions taken as part of a bank fraud scheme that forced several low-income homeowners into bankruptcy by saddling them with more debt than they were able to repay.
Harris Poulikidis, 62, of Overland Park, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ortrie D. Smith this morning to causing an individual to travel across state lines as part of a fraud scheme.
Poulikidis admitted that he caused a homeowner to obtain a $61,500 loan from Fremont Investment and Loan to refinance a mortgage and to provide approximately $19,350 in home improvements by Poulikidis’ company, Roofing & Siding Plus. On the same day, Poulikidis caused the homeowner to obtain a second mortgage, a $9,000 loan from his company. The second mortgage was later sold to another financial company.
Poulikidis assured the homeowner that her new payments under the re-financing would be no more than, or less than, what she was paying previously. In reality, however, the monthly payments increased so much that the homeowner could not afford them and filed for bankruptcy.
The loan application for the first mortgage did not disclose the second mortgage loan being sought from the homeowner. Fremont Investment and Loan would not have made the loan had it known of the second mortgage.
Under federal statutes, Poulikidis is subject to a sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution to six homeowners. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Daniel Stewart. It was investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.