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Joe Gustafson Jr. faces charges of mortgage fraud

Little Joe Gustafson sold his house to himself.

Little Joe Gustafson sold his house to himself.

Little Joe Gustafson, scion of a Northside bail bondsman and notorious former Hell's Angel, is in an increasingly tight spot with the law.

Now prosecutors say he committed mortgage fraud.

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Last month, Hennepin County prosecutors charged Joseph "Little Joe" Duane Gustafson and his Beat Down Posse with making terroristic threats, as well as illegal possession of a firearm. Today, the Hennepin County Attorney charged Gustafson and associate Joshua Robin Ramos with felony theft by swindle for mortgage fraud.

According to the criminal complaint, Gustafson faked a sale of a home he owned at 3500 Queen Avenue North, and Ramos was the lucky straw buyer.

Property records show that Ramos bought the home for $197,000 on November 17, 2005, using a $30,102.30 cash down payment. Ramos used a Wells Fargo cashier's check to pay. But as it turns out, that wasn't his money.

Bank records show that three days before the house closed, Gustafson withdrew $29,500 in cash from a Wells Fargo savings account held by Gustafsons Bail Bonds, the company owned and operated by Gustafson and his father, Joseph Robert "Big Joe" Gustafson, the former Hell's Angel. Apparently, Little Joe wasn't thinking about getting caught when he made the withdrawal--a handwritten note on the back of the withdrawal slip says "Joshua R. Ramos to ATA Title."

Ramos admitted to investigators that he didn't pay for the house or the closing costs, or for any of the mortgage payments afterwards. Ramos also admitted that Little Joe asked him to purchase the property because he needed money--and Little Joe got it. Property records show that Little Joe got $72,412.82 in proceeds from the sale.

Four months after the Ramos "bought" Little Joe's property, the home was burned in a fire that the Minneapolis Fire Department ruled an arson. Little Joe collected.

We predicted all this in our February story, Fallen Angel, detailing the Gustafson family's history of crime. It's taken a while for the charges to come out, for political reasons having to do with the Metro Gang Strike Force.