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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 18, 2011


METROPLEX HOMEBUILDER PLEADS GUILTY IN WIDESPREAD MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

PLANO, Texas A Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex homebuilder pleaded guilty to a mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Robert Bruce Keaffaber, 51, of Granbury, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud on Aug. 17, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don D. Bush.

According to information presented in court, Keaffaber was the owner of Sycamore Custom Homes, a homebuilding business. As part of the mortgage fraud scheme, he and others caused mortgage loan documents to overstate the amount of the actual purchase price and the amount of loan funds that buyers needed to pay Keaffaber to purchase certain properties. When the mortgage loans were funded, Keaffaber would then use the excess loan funds generated by the sale as kickbacks to pay others involved in the conspiracy.

Keaffaber faces up to five years in federal prison and restitution to the victims in the amount of $203,657.75. A sentencing date has not been set.

Prior to today's guilty plea, ten other individuals have pleaded guilty for their role in this mortgage fraud scheme and are currently awaiting sentencing. Davon Willis, who oversaw a mortgage broker business that processed loan applications involved in the mortgage fraud, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on July 18, 2011. Two recruiters of homebuyers, Julila Nicole Allen, 38, of Grand Heights, Texas, and Kimoni Jackson, 34, of Desoto, Texas have already pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on Jan. 7, 2011 and July 25, 2011 respectively. Another homebuilder, Yunus Mandli, 63, of Rockwall, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on June 21, 2011. A mortgage broker, Quincy Dynell Harrington, 41, of Corinth, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on Feb. 28, 2011. One loan processor, Natasha Manley, 39 of Sherman Oaks, California, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on Dec. 1, 2010. One home seller, Keith Ezell, 46, of Cedar Hill, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 29, 2011. Additionally, three homebuyers pleaded guilty for their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme: Sharetha Jackson, 41, of Desoto, Texas, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 21, 2011; Willis Raymond McMurran, 37, of Middleton, Delaware, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering on June 2, 2011; and Edward Rogers, 41, of Midlothian, Texas pleaded guilty to making a false statement to a federal agent on Dec. 9, 2010.

Other individuals charged in separate indictments related to this mortgage fraud conspiracy and who are awaiting trial are:
  • Rodney Lavann Giles, Sr., 44, of Dallas, an alleged recruiter of homebuyers, was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud on April 14, 2011.
  • Renetta Yvonne Jones, 40, of Plano, Texas, a loan officer, was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering on April 14, 2011.
  • M.D. Habibur Rahman, 52, of Garland, Texas, a homebuyer, was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering on July 13, 2011.
  • Larry Reisman, 49, of Dallas, a homebuilder, was indicted for conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud on June 6, 2011.
  • Jon Ruliffson, 31, of Plano, Texas, an alleged recruiter of homebuyers, was indicted for conspiracy to commit bank fraud on June 6, 2011.
A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt. All defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This law enforcement action is part 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.

This case is being investigated by HUD, Office of the Inspector General, IRS Criminal Investigation, FBI, U.S. Secret Service and U.S. Postal Inspection Service and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Andy Williams and Christopher A. Eason.




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

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