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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

July 28, 2011


Modesto Man Indicted For Mortgage Fraud Scheme

FRESNO, Calif. United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that a federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today charging Tony Huy Havens, 37, of Modesto, with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud in a mortgage fraud scheme.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. McKeon is prosecuting the case.

According to the indictment, Havens was a promoter for "The Gift Program," where real estate buyers and sellers would get together and establish a sales price on a property. They would then agree to set a fictitious sales price of approximately $100,000 to $150,000 above the negotiated fair market value price. The buyer would obtain a loan based on the much higher value, and the loan proceeds that exceeded the sales price would be kicked back to the buyer to use as the down payment on the purchase. The indictment alleges that eight homes were purchased using this "program" in San Joaquin and Stanislaus Counties, causing a total loss to lenders of $3,256,279.

If convicted, Havens faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

The charges are only allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Mortgage fraud is a priority area for the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. 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. For more information on the task force, visit StopFraud.gov.


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


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