Jack Jaffa, Shari Nott, Chris Crandell, and Mohamed Seif. The names read like a Who’s Who of the National Association of Mortgage Field Services (NAMFS) during the 2008 Financial Crisis. And during the height of COVID, as the New Year rolled over, they were all named in documents filed by the federal bankruptcy trustee as a result of the Involuntary Bankruptcy against National Field Network (NFN) under Fed. R. Bankr. P. 7001, 11 U.S.C. §§ 541, 542, 544, 548 and 550, and 28 U.S.C. § 157(b)(2)(A), (B), (H), and/or (O). And it is a case that Foreclosurepedia has been covering for over half a decade now. Coming on the heels of the federal indictment against former NAMFS Associate member Vicki Boser with respect to $750,000 in insurance fraud; as Boser is staring down a 20 year prison sentence, many are wondering if NAMFS Executive Director Eric Miller’s colleagues are contemplating sacrificing the king to save their own skin. And to truly understand the length and breadth of the NFN fraud, it is easiest to begin to look at the NAMFS mindset which allowed it to exist in the first place.
As a 501(c)(6), NAMFS is a non profit corporation. To that point, federal law is quite clear in that when asked for a copy of their IRS 990 — income tax filing — they are required to present it. For the past two years, Eric Miller has refused to do such. Miller has a lot to be afraid of. In fact, according to the last NAMFS 990, Miller’s salary today consumes over NINETY NINE POINT SEVEN PERCENT of all NAMFS member dues.
Greed, for want of a better word, would appear to be good for Miller and his acolytes. It appears to almost be a Family Tradition as Hank Williams Jr sings about. And normally no one would have ever been the wiser. Tens of millions of dollars in fraud occurred under the roof’s of former NAMFS member’s firms such as former NAMFS Secretary Heather Berghorst whom owned Berghorst Enterprises — amongst other firms — Buczek Enterprises whom also settled claims of employee misclassification, InsuranceTEK whose owner, Vicki Boser is facing a 20 year prison sentence, Boyd Property Preservation, Michael Breese whom owned HomeStar Property Solutions, Brian Mingham whom owned National Real Estate Solutions — the list goes on and on and on. The road map for this was laid bare in our story today.
Safeguard Properties (SGP) CEO Alan Jaffa has a brother back in New York. His name is Jack Jaffa. And in May of 2009, Jaffa formed National Management and Preservation Services LLC, d/b/a National Field Network (NFN) in Delaware which was then brought into New Jersey as a foreign corporation in October 2009. This was at the veritable height of the 2008 Financial Crisis. Robosigning was in vogue, Wall Street was receiving bail outs at astronomical rates, and NAMFS members were partying in the streets like it was 1999. Champagne bottles were being uncorked almost as quick as yachts were purchased. And from the inception of NFN, Jaffa hired Sam Stern to recruit a woman whose connections to NAMFS founder John “Chip” Ward were storied. Her name was Shari Nott. Their relationship is well documented and existed throughout the days of Ward Associates, First American Field Services and their movement into Florida in 1997, and ultimately through First American Financial’s purchase of Ward Associates and the hiring of Ward. It would be fair to say that Ward, whom passed in 2013, was the mentor to Nott as she elaborated upon in Ward’s eulogy, “The hundreds of Wardisms learned from you have guided me through many obstacles in life. You will be missed and never forgotten.”
Jaffa was the 100% owner of NFN and classified as an investor according to federal court documents, while “Nott was given complete control of the [NFN] business and was responsible for all major decisions. Nott’s job duties included operations, client services, business development and information technology.” Thus, it is critical to understand the mindset of NAMFS, its founder, Chip Ward, and ultimately Ward’s protégé Nott.
In 2010 Chris Crandell was hired as NFN’s Chief Operating Officer to the tune of $288,000 a year. Then in February 2011, National Field Network Now, LLC d/b/a All the Right Movers (NFN Now) was formed. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of NFN Now. NFN Now provided property preservation services and was formed with an original intent to franchise the business. Foreclosurepedia has also confirmed the franchising angle with another party whom was recruited to undertake services associated with this goal. In an interview in 2017, this is what was said,
I will answer any questions you ask if I have any answers but remember I was never respected or trusted by Chris or Shari and never brought into any confidential information or situations. So as far as any dark secrets I have none. I’m not sure about that company name you mentioned. To my understanding NFN Now was supposed to turn into a franchise opportunity for vendors. Sort of like a McDonald’s or Taco Bell. Total separate entity from NFN. Two separate businesses two separate bank accounts.
According to federal court documents, NFN “… provided NFN Now with the start-up funds to commence operations[,]” and “NFN Now shared office space with the Debtor.” In 2011, NFN secured contracts with Reverse Mortgage Solutions (RMS). To understand this relationship, one really needs to understand how it began. In 2014 two companies were collapsing based out of Derby, NY. One was Buczek Enterprises and the other was ACA Asset Management Group. Without getting into the extremely eclectic history of the Buczek Family — simply search their name on Foreclosurepedia — the name we are interested in is Amanda Buczek. Amanda is the daughter of Dan Buczek whom founded the company. ACA is simply the death spiral, quasi-subsidiary. NFN had hired Buczek Enterprises to perform an enormous amount of distressed asset servicing for them. As we began digging into the historic levels of fraud allegations, we had occasion to flip two sources. The first was the then CIO of both Buczek Enterprises and ACA. The other was the then Associate General Counsel of Altisource. We are primarily going to discuss the CIO. This was a message from 2014,
Thanks for your email, I’ve been meaning to send you a VM confirmation. I apologize for not handling that yet. Buczek‘s story with NFN travels miles. We can certainly discuss tomorrow via telephone if you’re around?
With Amanda, she held a sales position at NFN because while she was a partner in her own business, we as a company aren’t big enough to support a marketer of Amanda’s caliber. She truly knows everyone and is quite the saleswoman. Attended many conferences, etc., that sort of thing. That being said, IMHO, our company was grossly used to NFN’s benefit.. while it looked like the relationship was beneficial on the surface, it was way skewed towards NFN and once it was clear that the relationship was toxic we exited it Amanda found other employment. The control was and always has been in Shari’s hands. From my technology standpoint, we did a ton of work for NFN that was definitely their responsibility but due to their [lack of] technology we were forced to do it.
NFN took the position that it “fired” Buczek Enterprises which caused a massive collapse and ripple effect throughout the Industry. In fact, the CIO had this to say when they had figured out that the fix was in,
Last but not least, NFN did not fire us. If they are saying that, that’s their business Sounds desperate. Even saying it was a mutual separation would be a stretch IMHO…
After the collapse of Buczek Enterprises, Amanda Buczek was brought in house to NFN and ultimately went to work at Reverse Mortgage Solutions. Whether this was a reward for the collapse or simply a raiding of the rolodex is anyone’s guess. What we do know is that millions of dollars in billable invoices went up in smoke which NFN never had to pay. In fact, within only weeks of Foreclosurepedia publishing, the following was issued from Buczek Enterprises,
Due to circumstances beyond our control we are hereby notifying you that on Tuesday March 18th, 2014 all new work orders submitted to Buczek Enterprises, LLC. will be rejected. We are unable to make exceptions to this timeframe and request that you immediately work to identify the impact to your business and make adjustments as necessary. All work orders submitted prior to 11:59pm EST on Monday March 17th, 2014 will be accepted and completed.
By the 24th of March, Labor was in high gear putting together door hanging parties protesting Buczek Enterprises refusal to pay them. Here was an email sent to Amanda and Adam — Amanda’s one brother without felony convictions,
we got 10,000 door hangers we will be posting on every home we ever did for you guys we will be posting these at all union halls, grocery stores bars clubs subways we also have some really nice posters to hang … we need to get the word out to all of philly and suburbs buczek ent. will soon be a house hold name this door hanging event will help to meet new contractors for your company and mine next thursday your also invited to the protest at a bank this bank hires company’s who rip people off im living proof
I digress. On August 22, 2011, NFN Investments MI, LLC (Investments) was formed in the State of Michigan as a limited liability company. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of Investments. According to federal court documents, “… RMS requested that the Debtor and/or Nott purchase a portfolio of approximately thirty (30) properties in Michigan, which was the purpose for Investments being formed.” In May 2013, NFN Claims (“Claims”) was formed. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of Claims. Claims was formed to file and process mortgage insurance claims. Claims stopped operating when NFN stopped operating. Crandell formed All the Right Movers, LLC as a Delaware corporation headquartered in Pennsylvania (ATRM DE/PA). In November 2015, Trio Solutions, LLC (“Trio”) was formed. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of Trio. Trio was an entity to be used to address non-payment of homeowners association dues for the institutions which used NFN’s services. In March 2017, Commigrate Capital, LLC (Commigrate) was formed. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of Commigrate. Upon information and belief, Commigrate was an entity to be used to outsource customer service of the Debtor. In or about July 2017, Chik-Chak Shack, LLC (Chik-Chak) was formed. At the time of its formation, Nott, Jaffa and Crandell were the members of Chik-Chak. During the same period of time, Nott formed a company called Plan A and she was the sole member of that company. And finally, in February 2018, All the Right Movers Unlimited, LLC was formed. Jonathan Oglensky, Nott’s husband, is the registered agent.
Of note are several things. First, federal court documents state that NFN was insolvent by 31 December 2015. In January 2017, NFN had laid off 25% of their work force and by November they fired all but 30 employees out of an estimated original 200. And by early 2018, Crandell was fired.
It is that December 2015 insolvency that is important. The jig was up and yet NFN — Jaffa, Nott, Crandell and Seif continued to operate like nothing was amiss. For years, the Fraud Four pushed out work orders while simultaneously clawing back monies owed to Labor under a spurious chargeback scheme. These actions allowed Nott to draw a salary of $350,000 plus other benefits including additional salary advances of $1,088,517.55. While this, in and of itself, was heinous, Nott’s receiving of $6,039,586.10 from NFN was the straw that broke the camel’s back. This is how it was described in federal court documents,
The Nott Loan is comprised of various personal expenses, e.g., funds in excess of $500,000 made available to Nott to purchase a residence in Long Branch, New Jersey, to funds advanced related to vacation homes in the Bahamas, luxury vehicles, including a Thunderbird, multiple Audi vehicles, a specialty Tesla vehicle and a Ford Explorer, to payment of contractors who did personal work for Nott at her various residences and/or other business ventures.
Additionally, around April of 2018, NFN, Nott, Crandell, Oglensky, NFN Now, Investments, ATRM DEPA, Trio and Commigrate entered into a “Mutual Release and Transfer Agreement,” which provided that Nott, Oglensky, NFN Now, Investments and Commigrate would pay $60,000 in exchange for the transfer of Crandell’s interests in ATRM DE/PA, Investments and Commigrate to Nott, and his interests in NFN Now to Oglensky. Many looked at this as a payment in exchange for silence memorialization.
Stay tuned for the breakdown of the monies which the federal trustee is demanding from Jaffa, Nott, Crandell, Seif, and Oglensky in this week’s Foreclosurepedia Industry Insider. We can tell you this, they are in the millions of dollars. We also walk you through all the ins and outs of how NFN was allowed — supported — by other NAMFS members in their historic meltdown. It’s a perp walk you don’t want to miss!