• Bankrupt Fraudster Fugitive Heading to Jail

    For six years, Brent Farris eluded U.S. authorities by passing through many countries across several continents after pleading guilty to bankruptcy fraud.

    On July 15, 2011, a U.S. judge sentenced Farris to 14 months in prison for failure to appear. The sentence ends six years on the run after he first plead guilty to fraud. Farris is the former owner of Farris Gallery in St. Louis.

    In his 2002 plea, he admitted to transferring ownership of an oil painting to another party. Farris intended for the unknown party to auction the painting at Christie’s in New York.

    Farris planned to conceal proceeds of the sale from his bankruptcy case. Instead, he received a 20-month prison sentence and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution. Farris fled the country when he was released on bond prior to going to prison.

    The U.S. Marshall’s service tracked him over a five-year period. During that time, Farris travelled through 14 countries on three continents, obtaining a fake British passport to assist in his movement. He used the passport to live and work in China, and to travel around Europe and Asia undetected.

    Italian authorities detained and arrested Farris in Rome, Italy, using information provided to them by the U.S. Marshalls. He managed to escape from Italy, only to be arrested in Guadalajara, Mexico. Mexican authorities deported Farris to the U.S.

    He is now serving both of his sentences consecutively for a total of 34 months.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago bankruptcy lawyer


  • Fannie Mae Moves to Foreclose on Apartment Building in Chicago Ridge

    Fannie Mae has filed a $6.1 million foreclosure suit against an 84-unit apartment building located in Chicago Ridge.

    The owners of Ridgeland Court failed to keep up with their end of the bargain. The complaint filed by Fannie Mae lists failure to make a monthly payment in May, didn’t purchase the required insurance for the building, and did not pay outstanding bills on the property within a specified 30-day period.

    Rental growth has risen in suburban buildings such as the 65,400 square foot Ridgeland, according to a recent report by Appraisal Research Counselors. The apartment market in the suburbs is strong due to the weak job market causing young people to rent instead of purchase a home.

    Ridgeland Court Apartments are fully leased according to real estate data provider CoStar Group Inc.

    The owner of the apartment building is a trust managed by SKS Properties Southwest Region Inc., according to the lawsuit.

    SKS is also in default because it transferred ownership interest in the property to another entity, SKS Properties SE LLC. This transfer violated the mortgage agreement according to Fannie Mae’s complaint.

    Fannie Mae seeks to collect the original amount of the 2007 loan. The original amount is $5.4 million, and does not include accrued interest, fees, and other costs.

    Benjamin Brand Services – Chicago foreclosure attorney

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