Notorious Kansas City Mortgage Fraudster Is Back In Jail | KCUR

Notorious Kansas City Mortgage Fraudster Is Back In Jail

May 9, 2019

A man who was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $11 million in restitution for a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme, is back in jail.

Brent Barber, 54, was arrested by U.S. Marshalls when he reported to his parole officer at the downtown federal courthouse Thursday.

In his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Lujana Counts, Barber wore a blue sweatshirt and high top sneakers. The one-time millionaire, who lived on a Loch Lloyd golf course, asked Counts for a free, court-appointed lawyer. 

He was on three years supervised release. The government moved to revoke that for lying to his parole officer and because he has been charged in Jackson County with one count of forgery, a class D Missouri felony.

"Brent M. Barber has engaged in a scheme to defraud the State of Missouri and consumers," a Missouri Highway Patrol probable cause statement says.

Barber bought 78 vehicles from the City of Kansas City tow lot for $34,000,  according to the Highway Patrol investigator. He's accused of forging a Kansas title when he sold one of those cars to a woman in 2017.

But that's small potatoes in the broader context of his career. 

When the FBI arrested him in 2004, prosecutors said he headed a mortgage fraud ring that used straw purchasers to buy foreclosed homes.

"This scenario was repeated approximately 300 times, resulting in losses in excess of $15 million," according to an FBI news release at the time.

Barber left federal prison in May 2016 and now lives in Peculiar, Missouri, according to court records. His sentence included three years of supervised release after getting out.

Barber was never shy about his fraud career. Shortly after his conviction he gave a long jailhouse interview to USA Today and talked about how easily he could steal a house or money or ruin someone's credit.

"If I wanted to be a stinker, I could tear up any state I walked in," he told the paper in 2007.

He also wrote a book about his prison experience called "Federal Prison for Dummies." In the "about the author" section on Amazon's website, he writes that "Mr. Barber is a man older, wiser, and anxiously looking forward to living each day, working to rebuild his life."

For now, that appears to be off track.

Barber's will be arraigned May 22. He is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshalls.

A call to his lawyer, Michael McIntosh, on the state forgery charge wasn't immediately returned. 

Sam Zeff is KCUR's metro reporter. You can follow Sam on Twitter @samzeff