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Feb. 23, 2012

Sacramento Property Flipping Scheme Adds Charges And Another Defendant

SACRAMENTO, Calif. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced today that a federal grand jury returned a three-count third superseding indictment against Leonard Williams, 49, of Sacramento, and Joshua Clymer, 25, of Sacramento, charging them with one count of conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and two counts of money laundering. Williams was previously indicted along with co-defendant Garret Griffith Gililland III in connection with two properties in Chico. Today's superseding indictment adds Clymer and identifies additional properties that Williams and Clymer are accused of flipping for as much as $100,000 over the price the two men paid to acquire the properties earlier the same day. The two men are real estate agents licensed in the State of California. They operated as partners out of an office on Watt Avenue in Sacramento between 2006 and 2008, and the properties involved were in Sacramento, Gold River, Yuba City, and Chico.

The third superseding indictment alleges that Williams and Clymer used Diamond Hill Financial Inc. and Bay Area Real Estate Holdings LLC to acquire properties, flip them the same day they were purchased, and provide substantial side payments to buyers that were not disclosed to lenders in escrow. Moreover, the two allegedly orchestrated the loan applications of the buyers, providing false documents and false verifications of income and employment to lenders to ensure that the loans funded.

This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Butte County District Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Russell L. Carlberg is prosecuting the case.

The maximum statutory penalty for a violation of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud is 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or an alternative maximum fine of double the gain to defendants or loss caused, and a three year term of supervised release. The actual sentence, if convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California

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