Mortgage fraud trial again focuses on Shields’ co-defendants

The mortgage fraud trial of Katheryn Shields continued into its second week today with scant testimony so far about the former Jackson County executive.

Though the case centers on the alleged fraudulent sale of the home owned by Shields and her husband, Philip Cardarella, most testimony has focused on the roles of other co-defendants.

Seven of them, including ringleader Raymond Zwego, already have pleaded guilty in the case, which centers on the proposed $1.2 million sale of Shields’ home.

Four others — Shields, Cardarella, mortgage broker Monty Kinman and closing agent Rick Peterson — are on trial in federal court in Kansas City.

Today’s testimony has been about Peterson and his relationship with Zwego, who brokered a number of real estate transactions throughout the area, according to previous testimony.

A co-worker of Peterson testified this morning that the transactions were referred to as “Ray deals.”

Joy Swearingin said that after FBI agents questioned Peterson last November about the sale of the Shields and Cardarella home to buyers arranged by Zwego, Peterson told her “I’m going to go to jail.”

“You could see the stress emanating from him,” she said.

By TONY RIZZO, The Kansas City Star

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