A major investor in D.C. rental property was among three people suspended from participating in government housing programs yesterday by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Jack Spicer of Potomac, president of Jack Spicer Real Estate, was suspended for three years from HUD programs. Two executives of United Properties, another District real estate brokerage, were suspended for five years. They are Martin Wall of Gaithersburg, vice president of United Properties, and Richie Gaylen of Warrenton, president and treasurer of the firm.
Spicer said he would have no comment. Wall and Gaylen could not be reached.
The suspensions are the result of FBI investigations into a wide range of mortgage schemes in the District, in which nonexistent or unqualified low-income buyers received federal insurance on mortgages for usually run-down homes that were given inflated values. At least 100 of the mortgages have gone into default, leaving the government liable for at least $5 million.
In a notice sent to Spicer, a HUD official charged that Spicer or his firm submitted false information on four mortgage loans. The official, Federal Housing Administration Acting Commissioner Janet Hale, said Spicer or his firm submitted false or fictitious gift letters, which are assurances by loan applicants that certain assets will be given to them; gave false information concerning closing costs and down payments, and falsely said that applicants would occupy the dwellings.
Hale's letter to Wall cited seven loans in which insurance was obtained with questionable documents.
The same complaints were lodged against Gaylen in connection with 10 questionable loans, according to the HUD notice.
The actions can be appealed to HUD, but the suspensions remain in place pending the outcome of an appeal.