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P R E S S   R E L E A S E


July 1, 2011

Preacher Sentenced for Role in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Obtained More Than $200,000 Loan as a Result of Fraudulent Statements to Lender

AUGUSTA, GA—HEYWARD KELLY MCKNIGHT, JR., an Augusta area minister, was sentenced today in federal district court by United States District Judge J. Randal Hall to 15 months in prison for his role in causing a mortgage loan to be submitted based on misrepresentations to the lending bank.

According to the evidence presented during the guilty plea hearing, in late 2006 and early 2007, McKnight caused an application for a mortgage loan to be submitted to Wachovia Mortgage that contained false statements as to his father's income, his father's intent to occupy the property and other information. In addition to his prison term, the court ordered that McKnight pay the victims of his fraud more than $250,000 in restitution.

United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, "The defendant's actions, along with the actions of other mortgage fraudsters, have blighted our community with houses worth far more on paper than they ever were in reality. His misdeeds not only took money from financial institutions to line his own pockets, they also robbed one of Augusta's most impecunious communities of the potential for future investment and rehabilitation."

The case was investigated by Special Agent Jason Gustin of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Inman prosecuted the case. For further information, please call First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham at (912) 201- 2547.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia

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