Were you ever afraid of being caught?
You become invincible, you think. You think you've got it all planned out. At the end it got sloppy, not on my end but on the other people's ends, so that's when I walked away.
How long did you do it for?
I was in banking for a long time, but the fraud ring was probably five years.
Do you regret what you did?
Absolutely, we make terrible choices. Those choices don't define who we are today. If I opened up every person's closet in that room (points toward adjoining conference room), I would find skeletons. I'm just one of the people who steps up and talks about it. I don't want to see the newbies coming into the industry or even the old people make those terrible choices because we live with our choices.
Why did you do it?
Money. It's about money. And you also get the mentality that you are helping people. Because if you wanted a nice home and you are a neighbor of mine and your husband said, "I really wanted to get this for my wife. Kevin, I can afford it," then you know what? I'd say, "We're going to help you out." And that's how it is. It gets out of control because if everybody comes to you, how do you tell them no?
Any other tips for consumers?
Keep your eyes open. Pay attention. If it sounds too good to be true, it is too good to be true. Pay attention when somebody asks you to sign a document and they'll fill in the rest -- don't sign it. Say, "You know what, give me a copy of it, I'll handwrite it and fill it in."
Look at the final documentation before it's submitted. If you've got a foreclosure going on, pay very close attention. Do not deed your house to somebody else. Don't make payments to anyone other than the bank that originated your loan.
Make sure you get all the documentation when you are making payments. Do not send your payment to somebody else. Do not let them tell you they are going to rent it back to you or you can live in it and it will become yours. Just don't.
You mentioned giving out your mother's maiden name is a common mistake. Why?
The maiden name is the information that's the connecting point for everybody because whenever you are asked for a password -- "What's your mother's maiden name?" -- with that information I can find anything. I always tell people not to use the maiden name. Use your father's middle name. Something you'll remember but nobody will think of.