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Guilty Plea Expected from Mfg Housing Mortgage Broker

Glenn Vaught likely to plead guilty

July 18, 2011

By DAVID WREN The Sun News - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services

A guilty plea is expected from a mortgage broker in a case involving loan for manufactured homes.

Michael Fortenberry, a former Horry County mortgage broker accused of falsifying loan applications for buyers of manufactured homes, is expected to plead guilty to one felony charge during a hearing this week in federal court.

Glenn Vaught, Fortenberry's partner in the alleged scheme and the former owner of G&E Home Sales in Conway, could stand trial on seven felony charges as early as this month, according to court documents.

Court documents and an indictment issued in April accuse the two men of submitting loan applications containing false information -- including altered or forged home appraisals and income statements -- to banks to obtain loans for homes Vaught purportedly sold through his G&E dealership.

Vaught had the loan proceeds sent to his dealership but never purchased the homes for his customers, according to documents filed in a separate civil lawsuit. Fortenberry and Vaught then split the loan proceeds, those documents show, leaving buyers with mortgages to pay but no homes in which to live.

Fortenberry and Vaught initially pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges. Fortenberry is expected to change that plea during a hearing at 9:30 a.m. July 22 in Florence. Jury selection in Vaught's trial tentatively is scheduled for July 28.

Neither Fortenberry nor Vaught could be reached for comment.

Fortenberry signed a plea deal last month, agreeing to plead guilty to one felony charge of conspiracy to commit loan application fraud. That charge carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Vaught faces seven charges of making false statements on loan applications. Each of those charges carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The civil lawsuit against Vaught and Fortenberry, filed by one of the banks that loaned money for G&E homes, is pending.

G&E customers interviewed as part of a 2006 investigation into mortgage fraud by The Sun News told the newspaper they had no idea Vaught and Fortenberry allegedly falsified their financial information to get loans approved.

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