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Detroit — The Justice Department charged a former contract worker for Quicken Loans with conspiracy to commit bank fraud Tuesday, five days after accusing the Detroit-based lender of violating mortgage underwriting rules and ignoring "red flags" on dicey home loans.

Former Quicken contract worker Cynthia Slay is accused of using jobs at Quicken and as a home health-care worker to gain access to names, Social Security numbers and bank account information. Slay then gave the information to an unnamed person, who drained their bank accounts of more than $22,000, according to court records.

The case against Slay is unrelated to the high-profile Justice Department case against Quicken, U.S. Attorney's Office spokeswoman Susan Plochinski said. The lawsuit against Quicken alleges the lender's business practices cost the federal government millions of dollars on FHA-insured mortgages, an accusation denied by Quicken.

A Quicken spokesman said Slay was fired three years ago after internal security staff discovered suspicious behavior that resulted in the theft of about $2,000 from a client's Bank of America account.

Quicken also notified the FBI and cooperated with investigators.

"Although this is an isolated incident, I commend our technology and security teams for the development of proprietary software and processes that immediately detected and reported this reprehensible incident back in 2012," Quicken President Jay Farner said through a spokesman.

Slay, whose hometown was not listed in court records, was charged in a criminal information, which means a guilty plea is expected.

Her lawyer could not be reached for comment immediately Wednesday.

The alleged conspiracy involving Slay dates to May 2012. She allegedly targeted loan applicants with bank balances of at least $10,000, according to the Justice Department.

Slay's alleged scheme involved posting messages on Craigslist to recruit people to help perpetrate the fraud.

On Aug. 23, 2012, she posted: "I need to transfer money out of a checking account ASAP!! — I only have the routing/account numbers, plus other info like ss#, addresses, date of birth. I need it done this weekend no later than Monday. You will be compensated!!!"

Slay also worked as a home-health care provider and used her job to access clients' information, according to the court filing.

Slay and her unnamed colleague used one client's bank information and Social Security number to make a number of fraudulent withdrawals and transfers in September 2012, according to the court filing.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2028

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