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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

April 27, 2012


Federal Grand Jury Indicts Three in $2 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

DALLAS—An indictment returned earlier this month by a federal grand jury charges Patience Lavon Jackson, 49, of Arlington, Texas; Anthony Davis, Jr., 31, of Mesquite, Texas; and Charlie M. Smith, Jr., 39, of Northridge, California, with various felony offenses related to a $2 million mortgage fraud scheme they ran in the Dallas area, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas. The scheme involved defrauding and obtaining money from lending institutions by using straw buyers to purchase homes and submitting false documents to lenders. All were released on bond. Trial is set for June 2012 before U.S. District Judge Jane J. Boyle.

Specifically, the indictment charges Jackson with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and two counts of mail fraud. Davis is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and Smith is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud.

According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans for residential real estate properties in the Dallas area. As part of the scheme, the defendants recruited individuals to purchase real estate by telling the individuals that they would be purchasing "investment" properties. The defendants prepared and submitted false loan applications that fraudulently inflated the individual purchasers' financial assets and represented to lenders that the purchasers intended to use the property as a primary residence, when the purchasers had no intention of residing in the property. In addition, the defendants fraudulently created surplus loan proceeds by creating false invoices for repairs/upgrades that were never done. The defendants allowed the properties to go into foreclosure, resulting in losses exceeding $2 million.

An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each of the conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Each of the wire fraud counts carries a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution. In addition, the indictment includes a forfeiture allegation which would require Jackson and Smith, upon conviction, to forfeit any property derived from proceeds traceable to the offense.

Mortgage fraud is a major focus of President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. For more information about the task force visit: http://www.stopfraud.gov/.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch is in charge of the prosecution.


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


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