Former KC councilwoman convicted in mortgage fraud case

Friday, August 17, 2007

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A former Kansas City councilwoman was found guilty of mortgage fraud Thursday when a federal jury agreed that she intentionally misrepresented information on home loan applications.

Saundra McFadden-Weaver was convicted on all counts -- one charge of conspiracy and six charges of wire fraud. She said she was surprised by the verdicts but is prepared for whatever comes next.

"I believe in something written in my favorite book -- 'Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free,"' said McFadden-Weaver, who is a minister. "I'm prepared for wherever my journey takes me."

The statutory maximum sentence is 20 years for the crimes, but she will likely face a far shorter sentence because of federal sentencing guidelines.

The former councilwoman, who lost her re-election bid after being indicted in January, said she won't comment on whether she will appeal until she discusses it with her lawyer, Ron Partee.

Prosecutors said McFadden-Weaver misrepresented her intentions in a 2005 deal involving a house in the Kansas City suburb of Lee's Summit. Although the area is far outside the urban district she represented on the city council, she signed documents stating that she planned to live in the house.

According to the allegations, McFadden-Weaver and two others -- mortgage broker Ricky L. Hamilton and contractor Emanuel Kind -- conspired to fraudulently obtain a $405,331 loan in order to renovate another home owned by her church.

Hamilton and Kind pleaded guilty before McFadden-Weaver's trial.

McFadden-Weaver testified that she was only doing Kind a favor in getting the loan. She said Kind promised to pay the mortgage and renovate a house that her church owned. She told jurors that she didn't intend to defraud anyone.

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