JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Legal Newsline) - A Missouri grand jury has handed down 136-count indictments against a mortgage document company and its founder and former president, state Attorney General Chris Koster says.
Koster said Tuesday that DocX LLC, a subsidiary of Lender Processing Services in Jacksonville, Fla., and Lorraine Brown were indicted by a Boone County grand jury for forgery and making a false declaration related to mortgage documents processed by the company.
"The grand jury indictment alleges that mass-produced fraudulent signatures on notarized real estate documents constitutes forgery," Koster said in a statement.
"Today's indictment reflects our firm conviction that when you sign your name to a legal document, it matters," he said Tuesday.
The forgery and false declaration counts allege that the person whose name appears on 68 notarized deeds of release on behalf of the lender is not the person who actually signed the paperwork.
The documents were then submitted to the Boone County Recorder of Deeds as though they were genuine, the attorney general said.
The indictments, requested by Koster's office, are the result of months of investigation by the Attorney General's Office into the "robosigning" scandal.
A nationwide probe began in October 2010 with inquiries into robosigning practices, and has since broadened into identifying and addressing additional alleged improper foreclosure practices.
DocX's role in the scandal came to light when "60 Minutes" reported that a company employee, Linda Green, allegedly signed thousands of mortgage-related documents on behalf of several different banks, and in multiple handwritings.
According to the Attorney General's Office, forgery is a Class C felony and false declaration is a Class B misdemeanor.
If convicted on the most serious count, Brown could face up to seven years in prison for each count.
The company, itself, could be fined up to $10,000 for each forgery conviction and $2,000 for each false declaration conviction.
Koster's office said it will prosecute the case.
On Tuesday, a spokeswoman for Lender Processing Services told Bloomberg that the company will fight the charges.
"LPS has cooperated with the Attorney General's Office for over three months and has engaged in meaningful discussions to resolve past issues," Michelle Kersch said in a statement.
"We are disappointed with the attorney general's moving forward with these allegations."
From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.