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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 26, 2013


Husband and Wife Sentenced for Wire Fraud
Thirteen Sentenced to Date in Crestwood Homes Mortgage Fraud

BOISE—Aaron Michael Hymas and Tiffany Kim Hymas, both 38, of North Salt Lake, Utah, were sentenced in United States District Court in Boise today for wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Aaron Hymas to 24 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $1,520,296.77 in restitution. Tiffany Hymas was sentenced to 60 days in prison followed by three years of supervised release, beginning with six months of home detention. She was also ordered to pay $667,505.42 in restitution. The two former Treasure Valley residents each pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud on October 18, 2012.

According to the plea agreements, the defendants admitted that they schemed to defraud a lender by having Tiffany submit a residential loan application for $295,600 on March 28, 2007, in which she made material misrepresentations. On the application, Tiffany Hymas stated that she was employed by OPM Enterprises with 2.6 years on the job; that she had income and commissions of $72,500 per month; and that she had gross rental income of $14,600 per month from four properties in Meridian, Nampa, and Boise. Based on these misrepresentations, Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker Mortgage Corporation funded the loan. The defendants admitted they knew Tiffany Hymas' statements were false and material to the loan application and that they knew the statements were false at the time she made them.

The cases are part of a long-term investigation of mortgage fraud activity related to Crestwood Homes, which involved multiple defendants, many of them family members, who bought and sold real estate in order to "flip it," or gain profits from the sales. The financial institutions and mortgage lenders incurred substantial losses on the loan transactions.

In addition to Aaron and Tiffany Hymas, 11 individuals have been sentenced since November 2010 on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements, including Michael J. Hymas, Shane M. Hymas, Laurie K. Hymas, Shauntee K. Ferguson, Christopher R. Georgeson, Stanley J. Ferguson, Brent Bethers, Melody C. Redondo, Paul Redondo, Travis R. Hymas, and Season Heather Hymas.

"False statements to banks and lenders in order to obtain home loans have undermined the integrity of our nation's housing financing system," said Olson. "These sentences send the strong message that those who fabricate financial information to deceive lenders will be investigated, prosecuted, and punished."

"Integrity and honesty in the financial world are critical to society," said U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge.

The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, with assistance provided by the Office of the United States Trustee and the Idaho Department of Insurance. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho and the State of Idaho, Office of the Attorney General.

Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.


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


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