Former Roanoke woman faces fraud charges


LYNCHBURG, Va. (AP) — A former Roanoke woman has been arraigned on charges associated with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme centered around properties on Smith Mountain Lake.

Forty-nine-year-old Susanne Helbig made her first appearance in U.S. District Court in Lynchburg on Thursday. She's charged in a 15-count indictment with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, making false statements in connection with a loan and making a false statement on a tax return.

The indictment claims that in 2006 and 2007, Helbig and others submitted false and fraudulent mortgage loan applications and settlement statements in the name of straw purchasers. The losses were calculated at about $11 million.

Helbig now lives in Georgia. Her attorney with the federal public defender's office did not immediately return a telephone message.

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