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Nov. 2, 2012

Five Defendants Sentenced For Roles In $9 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

DALLAS — Five defendants, who each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, stemming from their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved approximately $9 million in fraudulent loans, have been sentenced, announced U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas.

Fredrick Barnard Lynch, 40, of Desoto, Texas, who was involved with ADJ Mortgage, PLLC, a real estate entity, was sentenced this week to 48 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.9 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty in September 2011.

Fredrick Lee Moore, 39, of Dallas, who was involved with Empirical Investments, a real estate entity, was sentenced in September 2012 to 87 months in prison and ordered to pay $3.9 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty in May 2012.

Randell Dean Miller, 44, of Arlington, Texas, who was involved with Benchmark Mortgage and Supreme Lending, was sentenced in June 2012 to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty in October 2011.

Halid Amer, 40, of Grand Prairie, Texas, who was involved with Accurate Investments, was sentenced in September 2012 to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $566,805 in restitution. He pleaded guilty in January 2012. After the government learned of Amir's plan to give a cash bribe to the judge in return for a guarantee of a probated sentence, the government filed a motion to revoke Amir's bond and the Court revoked his bond on June 26, 2012. The government also successfully argued that Amir should receive a substantially more severe sentence in this mortgage fraud case because of his efforts to obstruct justice prior to his sentencing hearing.

Theresa Fey Barsema, 49, of Mesa, Arizona, was sentenced in June 2012 to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution. She pleaded guilty in December 2011. Barsema was a licensed escrow officer who worked at First American Title Insurance, Alamo Title Company, First Commitment Title, First Land Title and Capital Title of Texas, in Flower Mound, Texas.

According to the documents filed in the case, sometime in 2005, Moore met Lynch and asked him to process loans for individuals he recruited to purchase residential properties as investments. As part of the scheme, Moore and Amer identified several single-family residences that were for sale in the Dallas and surrounding areas, including excess inventory, distressed properties and pre-foreclosed properties. As part of the scheme, Moore and Amer also recruited individuals who had acceptable consumer credit standings to act as investors in residential properties, and later used these recruited individuals to act as nominees or straw borrowers on several residential properties.

Also, as part of the scheme, Moore, Amer, Miller and Lynch all deceived lenders when they caused the loan applications for the straw borrowers to contain false financial information, such as false income and false bank balances; and to falsely represent that the borrower intended to use the purchased property as his primary residence. All five conspirators deceived lenders when they caused false and fraudulent HUD-1Settlement Statement, contracts and other loan closing documents to be provided to the lender and when they caused sellers to sign a form entitled "Authorization for Disbursement of Proceeds" to provide a means for the conspirators to receive part of the loan proceeds without disclosing the disbursements on the HUD-1.

The scope of the conspiracy involved approximately 23 fraudulent residential property loan closings resulting in the funding of approximately $8.8 million in fraudulent loans on the following properties: 959 Fairway Drive, Duncanville, Texas; 4006 Mendenhall Drive and 5828 Mossbrook Drive, both in Dallas; 1525 Registry Drive, Desoto; 4007 Bowden Hill Lane and 5813 Hunter Trail, both in Colleyville, Texas; 6909 Admiral's Cove Court, Plano, Texas; and 1414 Travis Circle North, Irving, Texas.

The case was investigated by the FBI and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney David L. Jarvis was in charge of the prosecution.

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

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