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Nov. 17, 2011

Realtor Charged With Mortgage Fraud

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma A federal grand jury has indicted SAFIYYAH TAHIR BATTLES, from Oklahoma City, for mortgage fraud, announced Sanford C. Coats, United StatesAttorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In particular, the three-count indictment charges her with making a false statement to a bank, wire fraud, and money laundering.

According to the indictment, Battles worked at T&T Realty, took out two loans at First Security Bank to fund the construction of a residence at 5404 North Lottie Avenue in Oklahoma City. Count One alleges that in February of 2007, she gave the bank a 2006 federal income tax return as proof of her income, but that she did not actually file her 2006 tax return until 2009 and reported substantially different income to the IRS.

Count Two alleges that she defrauded Saxon Mortgage when she applied for a $500,000.00 mortgage in May of 2007. In particular, the indictment alleges that she falsely stated that her income was $28,723.16 per month and that she had $165,907.70 on deposit at First Security Bank. It also alleges that she gave Saxon Mortgage a year of bank statements that had been falsified by inflating account balances by more than $100,000.00 each month. Finally, it alleges that she deposited a $102,630.01 check made out to another individual into her personal bank account when she knew that Saxon Mortgage and the closing company believed that the check would go to that other individual to pay construction costs.

Count Three alleges that Battles used $15,000.00 in criminal proceeds of her wire fraud scheme to write a check to an individual with the initials T.T.

On the false statement count, Battles faces a potential penalty of thirty years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.00. For wire fraud, she could be sentenced to twenty years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00. On the money laundering count, she faces a potential penalty of ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000.00. If convicted, she would be required to pay restitution to the victims of the offenses. Furthermore, the indictment seeks forfeiture in the amount of the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme and in the amount of the property involved in the money laundering offense.

These charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Scott E. Williams and Chris M. Stephens.

Reference is made to the indictment and other public filings for further information. An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial, at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Oklahoma

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