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Former foreclosure lawyer charged with fraud

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The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana has filed mail fraud charges against a former Indianapolis attorney who resigned from the bar two years ago.

A result of an FBI investigation, U.S. Attorney Tim Morrison on Thursday filed charges against Brian L. Nehrig, 43, who practiced at an Indianapolis law firm before resigning in August 2007. His foreclosure work at the firm between February 28, 2005, and Oct. 11, 2006, is the focus of the case.

His duties were to attend sheriff's sales and place minimum price bids on foreclosed properties for CitiMorgage, so that third-party bidders could then put their offers in and CitiMortgage could recover money from the sale if a property was sold for more than the minimum. But without the client's authorization, Nehrig is accused of intentionally inflating those minimum bidding prices and then completing the sales with third-party bidders, whom he was associated with outside of CitiMortgage's knowledge and permission. Nehrig hid the conduct by sending CitiMortgage a check for its minimum $1 price to make the company believe its property sold at the sheriff's sale in an arm's length transaction, the charging document alleges.

On many occasions, Nehrig directed a law firm employee to alter the titleholder's name on the deeds from CitiMortgage to replace it with the name of the third party with whom he'd negotiated the outside deal, the charges state. The total difference between the funds sent to CitiMortgage and the actual received funds from the deals was $106,122, and he didn't send the money back to CitiMortgage, the document says. Properties listed in the charging document are scattered throughout the state.

Nehrig faces 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine if convicted.

In August 2007, the Indiana Supreme Court concluded a disciplinary action against Nehrig by accepting his resignation. The Disciplinary Commission had filed misconduct charges against him and asked for his immediate suspension earlier that year.

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