Foreclosure Fraud | Lender Processing Services Robo-signer Whisleblower Found Dead in Nevada

4closureFraud's picture

Foreclosure fraud whistleblower found dead

By staff

A notary public who signed tens of thousands of false documents in a massive foreclosure scam before blowing the whistle on the scandal has been found dead in her Las Vegas home.

NBC station KSNV of Las Vegas reported that the woman, Tracy Lawrence, 43, was scheduled to be sentenced Monday morning after she pleaded guilty this month to notarizing the signature of an individual not in her presence. She failed to show up for her hearing, and police found her body at her home later in the day.

It could not immediately be determined whether Lawrence, who faced up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,000, died of suicide or of natural causes, KSNV reported. Detectives said they had ruled out homicide.

Lawrence came forward earlier this month and blew the whistle on the operation, in which title officers Gary Trafford, 49, of Irvine, Calif., and Geraldine Sheppard, 62, of Santa Ana, Calif. — who worked for a Florida processing company used by most major banks to process repossessions — allegedly forged signatures on tens of thousands of default notices from 2005 to 2008.

Trafford and Sheppard were charged two weeks ago with 606 counts of offering false instruments for recording, false certification on certain instruments and notarization of the signature of a person not in the presence of a notary public. You can read a .pdf version of their indictment here.

Rest from MSNBC here...

Detectives said they had ruled out homicide but they also said it could be weeks before investigators know how 43-year-old Tracy Lawrence died.

Is this really a suicide or a warning to others?

UPDATE 8:54pm EST:

Witness in Alleged Robo-Signing Case Dies

State witness Tracy Lawrence was found dead by Las Vegas Metro Police officers Monday morning. They were called to her apartment by the Attorney General’s office after she missed a Monday morning court hearing.


The Attorney General’s office says she was going to be sentenced after pleading guilty to one count of fraudulent notarizing. She was one of four notaries cooperating with the state in exchange for lighter sentences.

She faced up to a year in prison for forging signatures enabling title companies to rush Nevada home foreclosures. Title loan officers Gary Trafford and Gerri Shepperd of Lender Processing Services were indicted on more than 600 felony charges.

Well, it looks like the other three notaries might just come up with rare cases of amnesia…

This is so beyond scandalous…

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aimeesevey's picture

I agree dont sign any papers without reading and comprehending them fully, or else you are likely to be facing a foreclosure fraud.

koaj's picture

Paging Jerome Daly. Where are you friend?

cramers_tears's picture

It's a warning, don't notarize your own death warrant. 

Charles Bishop Weyland's picture

 Stylish. the bugs are at work right now ,confusing the time of death, the exit and entrance wounds,and all other evidence to hell and gone.

 hmm. bugs--that gives me an Idea.....

Charles Bishop Weyland's picture

 Stylish. the bugs are at work right now ,confusing the time of death, the exit and entrance wounds,and all other evidence to hell and gone.

 hmm. bugs--that gives me an Idea.....

JohnFrodo's picture

My favorite suicide story was the Malaysian Airline stewardress who cut her own head completely off with a butterknife.

mrdenis's picture

Paging Karen Silkwood .....Paging Karen Silkwood......

PaperBear's picture

"allegedly forged signatures on tens of thousands of default notices" ?

I want to hear of the properties owned outright where a bank originates a mortgage without the knowledge of the property owner and the first time that the property owner gets to know about it is when bailiffs evict the occupants from the property because the phantom mortgage has just been foreclosed on.

Quinvarius's picture

Amazing how the whistle blower got sentenced to any time at all while the kingpins are still collecting bonuses.

Everybodys All American's picture

Could it be more obvious? Sadly the crimes will likely be covered up.

chunga's picture

Anyone who thought the scope of foreclosure fraud consisted of a bunch of deadbeats who lied on their loan application needs to think again. If enough people realize it is unlikely their mortgages would pass legal muster and their moral contract ain't worth a shit everyone would stop paying.

We can't have that now can we? You speak out - you die. Simple as that.

Neil Garfield explains the securitization of the roofs over our heads very nicely in this nine minute video.

Foreclosure Defense - What You Need To Know 2/2

I have been saying this for a long time. A non-performing loan is worth much more than a performing loan. How fucked up is that?

merchantratereview's picture

The moral of the story. Dont trust this fucked up system.

Conax's picture

A good prosecutor would have given miss Lawrence a pass on the charges in return for her turning state's evidence. A citizenship medal would have been a nice touch. He might also have provided security for his witness, if he wanted her to testify, of course. And you can forget anyone else telling tales. You can go to the joint for that, right?


Bendromeda Strain's picture

A citizenship medal would have been a nice touch

Can the bar get any lower?

laosuwan's picture

Detectives said they had ruled out homicide but they also said it could be weeks before investigators know how 43-year-old Tracy Lawrence died.


If they dont know how she died how can they rule out homicide?

i-dog's picture

"Homicide" has such negative connotations ... Not good for xmas bonuses.

"Assisted suicide" sounds sooo much nicer and can be truthfully reported later in the MSM simply as "suicide".

jack stephan's picture

[Duck Twacy is surrounded by a gang of crooks
Daffy Duck: Snake Eyes! Agh! Eighty-Eight Teeth! Hammerhead! Oh, no, Pussycat! Pussycat Puss! Bat Man! Double-Header! P-p-picklepuss! P-p-p-pumpkin Head! Neon Noodle! Juke Box Jaw! Wolf Man! 
Wolf Man: Woof! Awoooooo! Woof! 
Daffy Duck: You're all under arrest! 
[all the villains roar at him. He runs off

Michael's picture

That's one way to save the taxpayers a shitload of money incarcerating the fraudsters. Hopefully Corzine will find himself in the same situation.

licutis's picture

When are they going to go after the 100+ robo signers at their Minnesota office? Perhaps all the robo signers in their Florida HQ? A lonely remote office in Nevada is nothing when compared to what goes on at 1270 Northland Drive, Mendota Hights, MN. the robo signing capital of the world.

Interestingly the place is temp worker city, most of the signers and other people in the chain of cranking these out are temps or were temps at some point in their employ with LPS. It wouldn't be that hard to infiltrate this place if someone wanted to get the goods on them, fish around Pro Staff or Apple One... The company has had a bad reputation in the college grad crowd of Minneapolis for the last 10 years (spanning at least three corporate names), when I first heard about them they where Fidelity National Foreclosure, Northwest Default Services before that (may be slightly off on that name), now of course they are just LPS. Sadly most of the robo signers are just stupid kids, first job out of college who were told this was legal and to go do it, sucks to be them.

In regards to the death of the whistle blower, its messed up. Some of the management I have encountered from LPS are real special folks. I would not put murder past their "aww shucks" Jacksonville executives, people I would describe as native Floridians... Overly Tan (think Dallas girls), $2000 casual outfit, loves to drink, you get the idea, one of these guys has ripped you off before.

RebelYell's picture

Did you know that Walmart sells single slug 12 gauge and hollow point 9mm at discount prices? i found that out tonight and topped off my basket. Thanks Sam!

NuYawkFrankie's picture

Do they still have that Diet Coke BIG-GULP Special with all the frosted lo-fat donuts you can eat in 5 minutes? tia

Schmuck Raker's picture

And you decided to post this in more than one thread why?

Hobbleknee's picture

Because he works for the FBI and he's trying to recruit home-grown "terrorists" for his next false flag mission.  Soon he'll send you a PM asking you to put a bomb in your underwear.

PulauHantu29's picture

Stabbed 13 times in the back...apparently a suicide they say?

NuYawkFrankie's picture

..."...stabbed 13 times in the back" -  self-inflicted

Hmmmm.... sounds suspiciously like Arkancide  - that unfortunate malady that afflicted anyone crossing the Clintoons (when they were ruling the roost down in Arkansas) that would usually have the victims summarily shooting themselves in the back of the head 3 or 4 times - typically, from what I recall, using a shotgun no less!

Ahhh for the Good Old Days! Now, of course, Hildebeast is free to practice her craft on a global scale - though, no doubt, couched in the nicest of diplomatic language...


The Big Ching-aso's picture



I find it hard to believe it was homocide.    Nevada is about the last state I would expect that has Bugsy Siegel, Mo Green, kind of deaths.

Tic tock's picture

land of the free and brave ?

Augustus's picture

Fraud?  In Nevada?  That is Harry's place.

Yeah, there was fraud.  The crap weasels who promised to repay the mortgages and then skipped out, leaving the rest of us holding the bag.  Prosecute their asses and build some debtor's prisons for them.

dolly madison's picture

As a person who had one of those crappy loans, I did have the ability to pay it off at the time I took it.  I had twice as much real estate value as I had debt.  It shouldn't have been a problem to pay it off, but the market tanked, and I couldn't sell my real estate anymore.

If the Fed hadn't blown up the bubble, it wouldn't have popped.

zoomer's picture

You are not alone:

"The Mortgage Banker’s Association of America, unable to make good on its mortgage, has entered into a short sale on its commercial loan outstanding on its Washington, DC headquarters.  The MBAA is selling to CoStar for $41.3 million, a sum far short of the $75 million in debt that they took out in 2007."

Crappy "in-deed".

donsluck's picture

The crap weasels can walk away legally, it's in the Contract, the one the bank and the borrower signed, agreeing to it's terms. Sorry, you should be careful who you lend money to. The criminal act was the by the bank. It's called...wait for it...



Enzo's picture

The crap weasels that misrepresented their income or lied about their intent to occupy the home committed fraud when they signed the Contract. Why shouldn't they be...wait for it...PROSECUTED?

vato poco's picture

"Are there no prisons? Are there no workhouses??"

Augustus's picture

There may be a vvery few states where the deadbeats can declare that they simply don't want to pay.  Of course, they will still want to live in the property for years and years. 

In the large majority of other states there is the      . . .  Wait now . . . Wait a little longer . . .

THE RULE OF LAW that Requires the REPAYMENT agreed to in the CONTRACT.

The deadbeat little turd blossoms would never respect or even acknowledge a Rule Of Law.  They would rather be SQUATTERS.

zoomer's picture

Watch how you refer to the former MLB Commisioner:

"My friend "Tom" is your typical yuppie. He has the pretty wife, the cute kid, the well-paying job in high-tech, the two cars (one a Mercedes 300), the sailboat (a 35-footer rigged for racing)--and the obligatory Chapter 7 bankruptcy on his credit report.

Yes, this December Tom joined actress Kim Basinger and former baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn among the swelling ranks of Americans taking advantage of Uncle Sam's debt forgiveness program."

I guess default is only for the 1%, not "little people", you know, like taxes.

Boxed Merlot's picture

From Seeking Alpha. Wall Street Breakfast, 11/29/11 am:


AMR (AMR) has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, "in order to achieve a cost and debt structure that is industry competitive and thereby assure its long-term viability."


Funny how a business that has filed bankruptcy "in order to...assure its long-term viability"... is seen as making a prudent fiduciary decision but individuals making the same sane decision are considered "deadbeat little turd blossoms".


I suppose I'd rather be considered a dltb as opposed to a tbtf entity or (s)elected official responsible for annihilating the entire US middle class.


Besides which, if your servicer is unable to forward the deed upon complete payment of the promissory note, who didn't follow the rule of law? Bifurcation essentially renders the mortgage DOA, or did that little "rule of law" escape your notice? Entering forged / fraudulent documents into evidence in a legal proceeding is not exactly following "the rule of law" either.

OldTrooper's picture

WTF? Did you buy up a bunch of sub-prime mortgages? It's not a personal thing, you know.  It's a fucking business deal - someone else's business deal at that.  They don't always work out.  Get all butt-hurt about it if you like, but that seems like a waste time.

Jumbotron's picture


Hello, Tracy....I'm Tim Geithner and this is my friend Angelo Mozilo.  Can we come in and talk with you.  Yes?  Thanks.

Nice place you have here.  Would I care for something to drink...why...sure.  As a matter of fact, Angelo is great at making drinks.  I'm sure we could all use a little something to relax.  Angelo....would you be so kind as to make us all a round of drinks, while Tracy and I have a little chat.

I'm sorry to hear what happened.  It's not going to be easy on you I'm sure.  But maybe we could discuss a way to make it better for you and for the country.  You see, those other notories need to come to Jesus if you know what I mean and I think you're the one to do it. 

How?  Well...let's say that someone who was involved in this mess suddenly came to a tragic's Angelo now...thanks's your drink Tracy.  Where's mine....I'm not really thirsty.  Now...where was I....oh yeah....let's say that someone who was involved in this mess suddenly came to a tragic end right before they were to go to yourself.  That could have a chilling effect on the others in terms of their testimonies...wouldn't you think?

I and your whistleblowers have created quite the mess.  You were such a faithful worker for us in the banking and mortgage industry...wasn't she Angelo

(Angelo) Yes...quite useful Tim.

Right...but now just as in accounting Tracy, sometimes an assest must be moved to the liability side of the ledger.  And you know what liabilities must have done to them...they must be liquidated.

Please Tracy, have a drink or Angelo will have his feelings hurt. 

Now....your family will be well compensated and no one will notice...we have ways of hiding the payments.  But Tracy....someone must take the fall and in turn silence the rest.

It's for the good of the country Tracy.  We can't have America coilapsing over this now can we.  We can't have 300 years of greatness go down the toilet because you got caught with your hand in the cookie jar for guys like Angelo and the bankers and now want to grow a conscience?

Please Tracy,,,,I insist...take a look really nervous.  The drink will certainly help you relax.  In fact,,,,you'll just simply go to sleep and this will go away.

Be a good girl now....and bottoms up.

(Angelo):  Yeah....bottoms up....we insist.

Ned Zeppelin's picture

Just like the missing DA in the Sandusky case . . . don't f*ck with us. 

luckylogger's picture

She was probably stressed.... if it is for real and she committed suicide.

However how come jamie dimon, hank paulson,......... and all those other fuking law-breaking felons getting at least community service?

They did the world the biggest disservice ever witnessed since the Nazis.

Her life was probably ruined when she had to go to jail. What a bummer and she helped get this bs out in the open.

Rest in peace and I feel for your loved ones.

I sincerly hope that you actions help cure the massive corruption in the USA, so that you did not die in vain.


sgt_doom's picture

Guess this should be added to the dead bankers list???

Not too surprising we'd hear about this week, along with the latest announcement from the corporate fascist staters:

Today, the Senate voted 37-61 to reject an important amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that would have removed harmful provisions authorizing the U.S. military to pick up and imprison without charge or trial civilians, including American citizens, anywhere in the world. The amendment offered by Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), would have replaced those provisions with a requirement for an orderly congressional review of detention power.