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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Notary who blew whistle on foreclosure fraud found dead



Reported by: Marissa Mike

Posted by: Phillip Moyer
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Updated: 12/08/2011 3:50 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV MyNews3) -- The notary who signed tens of thousands of false documents in a massive robo-signing scandal case was found dead in her home on Monday.

The notary, 43-year-old Tracy Lawrence, was supposed to be in court at 8:30 Monday morning for her sentencing hearing. When her attorney did not hear from her for more than an hour, Sr. Deputy Attorney General Robert Giunta asked for a bench warrant to be issued for Lawrence. The judge denied the request.

Police were sent to Lawrence's house to check on her after her lawyer expressed concern for her client's well-being. They found her body inside her home.

Metro Homicide Detectives are working currently the case. It is unclear if her death was due to natural causes, or if it was a suicide.

Detectives said this afternoon that they have ruled out homicide as a cause of death.

Last Monday, Lawrence pled guilty to only one criminal charge of notary fraud.

Lawrence came forward earlier this month and admitted that she had notarized around 25,000 fraudulent documents as part of a foreclosure fraud scheme.

Title officers Gary Trafford and Geraldine Sheppard of California are allegedly behind the fraud that involved forging signatures on tens of thousands of notices of default between 2005 and 2008. The two were indicted on more than 600 charges in a 439-page indictment filed on November 16.

The Nevada Attorney General is negotiating the terms of surrender for the pair. Both are expected to surrender sometime in December. 

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