Liberty woman is charged with mortgage fraud

Federal prosecutors in Kansas City announced mortgage fraud charges Friday against a 39-year-old Liberty woman.

Teresa Jean Whitten is accused of heading a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders of more than $5 million between 2007 and 2009. Prosecutors allege that Whitten solicited unqualified homebuyers to apply for mortgages using fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents.

She purportedly gave those homebuyers money so they could pay closing costs. Whitten then allegedly collected fees and reimbursements from the homebuyers without disclosing anything to the lenders.

Whitten pocketed more than $400,000 from the loan proceeds, according to the charges.

Prosecutors allege that Whitten obstructed justice by asking two people to destroy documents that had been subpoenaed by a grand jury. Whitten also is accused of illegally collecting $78,964 in Social Security disability payments.