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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 4, 2014


Defendant Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

On March 4, 2014, in Denver, Colo., Dale Johnson was sentenced to 34 months in prison and three years of supervised release. Johnson pleaded guilty on Sept. 10, 2013 to wire fraud and money laundering. According to court documents, in early 2006, Johnson was the president and chief executive officer of a business group based out of Culver City, Calif., called Synergy. Johnson began to present Synergy members with a number of properties available for purchase in Colorado. Johnson and other Synergy members traveled to Colorado where they started purchasing multiple residential properties. The homes were typically purchased in the individual member's own name, using the member's personal credit history to qualify for the purchases. As part of the scheme, Synergy members submitted "uniform residential loan applications" to lenders in connection with qualifying for home loans. In a number of loan applications, Synergy members and other buyers provided, or assisted in providing, materially false statements, representations, and omissions to real estate lenders, or the lenders' agents. False information included income, assets, debts, employment history and/or intent to occupy the home as a primary residence. Furthermore, a portion of lender funds from home purchases were paid to Synergy members as "kickbacks." Such kickbacks were often concealed from lenders through a series of false statements and material omissions made in connection with closings for properties or in connection with the loan documents submitted to the lenders. To further conceal the kickbacks from lenders, they routed payments through third parties posing as property management companies.

Source: Internal Revenue Service


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