RBC Mortgage Co., a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada, has agreed to pay a sizable amount to settle charges by the U.S. Department of Justice that the company was operating a mortgage-fraud ring at a branch in Rockford, Illinois. Federal officials allege that RBC Mortgage, using its former name, Prism Mortgage, violated the False Claims Act by making 219 mortgage loans in Rockford and Freeport based on fraudulent statements to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. From 2001 to 2004, the company falsified records to back loan applications, failed to comply with due diligence underwriting requirements and submitted loans for endorsement by HUD that did not satisfy requirements for FHA insurance. All of the 219 HUD-backed loans made by the company are now in foreclosure. Scott Verseman, the assistant U.S. Attorney working on the case, said the mortgage fraud operation was the largest he had seen in his seventeen years on the job.

For the full story, go to the Rockford Register Star.