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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

August 23, 2011


ST. CHARLES COUNTY MORTGAGE BROKER PLEADS GUILTY TO FEDERAL FRAUD CHARGES

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney's Office announced today that Mickey Johnson pled guilty to charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme involving four St. Louis area properties.

MICKEY JOHNSON, O'Fallon, Missouri, pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud after the first day of his trial had concluded yesterday. Johnson admitted to the indictment which alleged he participated in a fraud scheme relating to the sale of four properties located in the 3900 block of Labadie Avenue in north St. Louis. Johnson, acting as the mortgage broker, manipulated the loan applications of buyers by inflating their income and misstating their intention to occupy the properties as a primary residences. Also, Johnson participated in concealing down payments and other cash concessions made to the buyers from the sellers. All the while, Johnson was profiting from the sales as a "silent partner" to the seller of the properties unbeknownst to the lenders.

The properties listed in the indictment involved four lenders from Florida, Oregon, Texas and Georgia and the fraud scheme resulted in more than $200,000 in losses to the lenders when the homes went into foreclosure. Since foreclosure, the homes have fallen into disrepair and are no longer habitable.

Johnson pled guilty before United States District Judge Audrey G. Fleissig, who set sentencing for November 29, 2011.

Each count of wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Tom Albus and Steve Casey are handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.




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

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