Minister's home buys draw inquiry

Mortgage firm accused of illegalities

The Arizona Republic/June 21, 2009

By Robert Anglen

A Valley preacher with a worldwide ministry and his wife bought multiple upscale homes with deceptive loan applications, according to a state case accusing a mortgage firm of illegal practices.

Clint Rogers, head of Mesa-based Clint Rogers Ministries, and Angela Faith Rogers are not accused of any wrongdoing in the complaint filed by the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions, which seeks to shut down Scottsdale-based Global Mortgage. The mortgage company handled many of the couple's purchases and is accused by the state of using illegal and improper procedures.

But the couple's purchases of more than two dozen homes in Arizona over two years are documented in records turned over by the state to federal investigators charged with looking at mortgage improprieties.

"We have referred our investigative findings to the proper law-enforcement agencies in this case," said Jack Hudock, spokesman for the Department of Financial Institutions. "Beyond that, we cannot comment."

Hudock said his agency regulates banks, escrow agents and other financial institutions in Arizona and does not have the authority to prosecute or investigate criminal allegations.

Neither Clint Rogers, 37, nor Angela Rogers, 29, responded to interview requests via phone or e-mail or in person at the ministry's headquarters.

More than half of the state's case to revoke Global Mortgage's license involves 11 home purchases made by Clint and Angela Rogers.

Property records show that they bought homes that the sellers had purchased hours, days or weeks earlier for thousands of dollars less than what Clint and Angela Rogers had paid for them.

That generated hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits for the sellers.

Of 26 homes bought by the minister and his wife, at least 23 went into foreclosure. All were sold for less than what banks lent to the couple, mostly through trustee sales.

One of the remaining properties, a Scottsdale home, was sold to Clint Rogers' father.

Another, a $1.2 million compound in north Mesa, complete with a six-car detached garage and 5,000-square foot residence, was sold to a limited-liability company created by Clint Rogers.

It now serves as the ministry's headquarters. It is unclear if the minister and his wife reside there.

Clint Rogers conducts faith-healing events and other services at churches throughout the United States, Africa, Asia, Europe and elsewhere.

In the March complaint against Global Mortgage, the state alleges that a loan officer obtained three home loans for Clint Rogers, eight loans for Angela Rogers and two loans for an unidentified person based on documents that contained "loan misrepresentations or concealment."

The state's filing makes no conclusions about why the Rogerses' mortgage applications contained incomplete or wrong information.

According to the state, loan applications failed to disclose that the couple had previously obtained loans to buy several other homes.

The loan applications also said many of the homes would be owner-occupied, indicating the Rogerses intended to live in each home.

Property records show that from May 2005 until April 2007, they bought at least 26 homes for a total of about $20 million, primarily in Scottsdale, Mesa and Paradise Valley.

Records show that 14 of the homes were sold to the Rogerses by the same Tempe resident.

Records show, for instance, that on May 3, 2006, the Tempe resident paid $1.4 million for a home on Merion Way in Paradise Valley. On the same day, the Tempe resident sold the home to Clint Rogers for more than $1.9 million, a $500,000 increase.

The house was foreclosed on and sold in April 2008 for $1.35 million.

Procedures violated?

The Department of Financial Institutions alleges that Global Mortgage violated required procedures, failed to conduct background checks of employees, allowed borrowers to leave blank spaces on loan applications and misrepresented or concealed "essential or material facts" in loan documents.

Suzanne Like, who owns Global Mortgage, said that although her company improperly handled some loan applications, she had no idea that documents were being falsified. She said she will fight the attempt to revoke her license.

"We never had a complaint against us before now. . . . It's very upsetting," said Like, who is a licensed real-estate agent and general contractor.

Her company also faces an unrelated $250,000 fine in Nevada for operating without a license, which Like said she was also fighting.

The case to revoke Global Mortgage's license will go before an Arizona administrative law judge, who will hear testimony from both sides. It could be months before a verdict is reached.

In its filing, the Department of Financial Institutions identifies buyers of the properties as "C.R.," "A.R." and "A. Rogers." Property records show that owners of the homes, whose addresses are listed in the complaint, were Clint or Angela Rogers or both.

The documents indicate the Rogerses qualified for loans on new applications that left out details about millions of dollars in financing that the pair had obtained for prior home purchases.

On June 26, 2006, for example, Clint Rogers submitted applications for $2.1 million in loans for a home on Copper Canyon Street in Mesa, the complaint and property records show.

The loan application failed to disclose that Clint Rogers had bought three homes in Sedona, Paradise Valley and Scottsdale that same month, taking out loans totaling $3.8 million.

State regulators said loan applications for Angela Rogers showed a similar pattern. On June 29, 2006, she applied for $600,000 in loans to buy a house on San Alfredo Drive in Scottsdale.

According to the state, her loan application failed to disclose that she had obtained loans for seven properties in the previous two months, ranging from $629,000 to $1.2 million.

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