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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 11, 2011


Phoenix Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty To Mortgage Fraud Scheme

PHOENIX Jason Thomas Williams, 31, pleaded guilty on Monday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, related to a mortgage fraud scheme based in Phoenix, Arizona. Three others have also entered guilty pleas including loan officer Benjamin Jackson. The remaining defendant, Joseph Bowen Brown, is scheduled for trial in July, 2011.

The case against Williams and others was based on an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division. That investigation indicated that from early as September 2005 and through September 2007, Williams conspired to commit mortgage fraud in Phoenix. Williams acknowledged in his plea that, while acting in the capacity of a real estate agent, he facilitated the submission of mortgage loan applications for unqualified straw buyers that contained false information. Williams and others concealed cash kickbacks to the straw buyers from lenders. Williams obtained and disbursed the proceeds of these fraudulently obtained loans, including directing portions of the proceeds to bank accounts in Williams' and other defendants' control. The conspiracy involved 49 homes, all of which have gone into foreclosure and resulted in losses to lending institutions of $9,956,349.

A conviction for a single count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud is punishable by a maximum fine of $1 million, a maximum term of 30 years in prison, or both, and a term of supervised release of five years. In determining an actual sentence, Chief Judge Roslyn O. Silver will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations Division. The prosecution is being handled by Kevin M. Rapp and Monica B. Klapper Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

CASE NUMBER: CR-10-0825-PHX-ROS
RELEASE NUMBER: 2011-087(Williams)


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


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