03/26/10 — Lawyer loses his license for loan frauds

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Lawyer loses his license for loan frauds

By Staff Reports
Published in News on March 26, 2010 1:46 PM

A Goldsboro lawyer has been disbarred by the North Carolina State Bar for preparing more than 50 false bank loan statements.

William D. Orander III will be able to apply for reinstatement in five years, according to a bar spokesman.

Orander was disciplined by the bar after an investigation showed that while he was serving as the closing attorney in real estate transactions over a period of years, he falsely portrayed HUD-1 settlement statements that disguised home purchases as refinancing transactions. The transactions were handled through Southern Bank and New Century Bank, neither of which was aware the statements were fraudulent.

According to a news release, Orander's conduct violated the bar's rules of professional conduct and "engaged in conduct involving dishonesty, fraud, deceit and misrepresentation ... ."

The banks relied on Orander to provide the legal expertise to carry out the closings, the bar said.

"Orander not only took part in the scheme to disguise purchase transactions as refinances, he also used his position as a borrower through his company, Goldtower Properties, LLC and Abby Road Investments, Inc.," according to the statement.

The fraud has taken its toll on the local bank, authorities said.

"Southern Bank has had to charge down most of its loans ... which means it has had to reduce the value of those loans," the statement said. "As a result it expects to collect $283,655 less from these loans than it loaned. Southern Bank has had to charge off certain amounts on loans that went into default and where the properties were sold in foreclosure, realizing losses from those loans in the amount of $37,261. Southern Bank loaned at least $714,588 more than it would have for the loans ... had it known of the true nature of the transactions."

The loans were made over a period of several years, starting in 2004.

In the press release, bar officials said disbarment was "the only appropriate discipline" partly because "entry of an order imposing lesser discipline than disbarment would fail to acknowledge the seriousness of the offenses committed by Orander, would be inconsistent with discipline issued in prior cases involving similar misconduct, and would sendthe wrong message to attorneys and the public regarding the conduct expected of members of the North Carolina Bar ... ."