July 19, 2024

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Real estate agent sentenced for running multi-year mortgage and real estate commission fraud schemes | USAO-NDGA

4 min read
Real estate agent sentenced for running multi-year mortgage and real estate commission fraud schemes | USAO-NDGA

ATLANTA – Atlanta serious estate agent Eric Hill has been sentenced for his participation in a mortgage fraud plan that netted additional than $21 million in fraudulent house loan loans.  Numerous of the fraudulent financial loans were being insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), ensuing in over $850,000 in statements currently being paid for mortgages that have defaulted.  Hill also engaged in a plan to defraud his employer, a national true estate developer, out of around $480,000 pounds in true estate commissions.

“Eric Hill and his co-conspirators defrauded mortgage loan loan holders out of hundreds of thousands of pounds, with taxpayers being saddled with considerably of the reduction,” said U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine.  “We will vigorously prosecute individuals who dedicate mortgage fraud and enrich them selves at the expense of fiscal institutions and federal government plans that insure or promise the financial loans.”

“While it is easy to dismiss money fraud conditions as victimless crimes since of their lack of violence, there is, nonetheless, pretty genuine victimization to our financial system and our taxpayers,” mentioned Chris Hacker, Unique Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta. “This sentencing sends the information that the FBI will persistently get the job done to secure American citizens and the true estate market place from predators who drag down our financial system by deception for their have particular obtain.”

“Eric Hill engaged in premeditated prison functions with the sole function of enriching himself, devoid of regard for tens of millions of American homebuyers who depend on federal housing packages to insure their mortgages. His fraudulent actions strike not only at the fiscal integrity of the FHA, but also our neighbors and communities who are victims of these techniques,” mentioned Unique Agent in Charge Wyatt Achord with the Department of Housing and Urban Improvement Office of Inspector Basic. 

“The Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office environment of Inspector Basic (FHFA-OIG) is fully commited to holding accountable individuals who commit fraud in the housing and property finance loan market place and abuse the means of the Federal government-Sponsored Enterprises regulated by FHFA.  We are happy to have partnered with HUD-OIG, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney’s Business office for the Northern District of Georgia in this situation,” mentioned Edwin S. Bonano, Particular Agent-in-Demand, FHFA-OIG, Southeast Location.

According to Performing U.S. Legal professional Erskine, the rates and other details presented in court: The defendants participated in a scheme in which homebuyers and genuine estate brokers submitted fraudulent financial loan applications to induce property finance loan loan companies to fund home loans.  Eric Hill and Robert Kelske ended up genuine estate brokers who represented a important nationwide homebuilder.  Hill and Kelske assisted far more than 100 homebuyers who ended up wanting to obtain a house, but who were being unqualified to attain a house loan, commit fraud.  The agents instructed the homebuyers as to what form of assets they needed to declare to have in the lender, and what type of employment and money they wanted to post in their home finance loan applications.

Hill and Kelske then coordinated with numerous doc fabricators, which includes defendants Fawziyyah Connor and Stephanie Hogan, who altered the homebuyers’ financial institution statements to inflate their belongings and to build lender entries reflecting fake direct deposits from an employer chosen by the authentic estate agent.  The document fabricators also created bogus earnings statements that matched the immediate deposit entries to make it surface that the homebuyer was employed, and earning profits, from a pretend employer.  Other members in the scheme then acted as employment verifiers and responded to cellphone phone calls or e-mail from creditors to falsely confirm the homebuyers’ work.  Defendants Jerod Little, Renee Little, Maurice Lawson, Todd Taylor, Paige McDaniel and Donald Fontenot acted as work verifiers.  Hill and Kelske coordinated the creation and submission of the wrong details so that the lies to the creditors ended up reliable.

In another part of the plan, Hill and Kelske conspired with real estate brokers Anthony Richard and Cephus Chapman, who falsely claimed to stand for homebuyers as their providing agents in order to obtain commissions from the dwelling revenue.  In truth, these serious estate brokers experienced hardly ever even achieved the homebuyers they claimed to symbolize.  To stay away from detection, the agents frequently notified closing attorneys that they would not be accessible for the property closing and despatched wire guidance for the receipt of their commissions.  When these purported marketing brokers received their unearned commissions, they kicked again the the greater part of the commissions to Hill or Kelske for enabling them to be included to the deal, preserving a smaller share for their part in the scheme.

Eric Hill, 52, of Tyrone, Ga, was sentenced to two a long time, six months in prison to be adopted by 3 years of supervised release.  Hill was convicted on these fees on September 21, 2020, after he pleaded guilty.

In addition to Hill, Defendants Donald Fontenot, Maurice Lawson, Stephanie Hogan, Jerod Very little, Renee Little, Paige McDaniel, Fawziyyah Connor, and Anthony Richard have all been sentenced for their roles in the conspiracies. 

  • Todd Taylor pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on March 3, 2022.       
  • Robert Kelske also pled guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced April 14, 2022.       
  • Cephus Chapman was convicted at demo and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2022.

This circumstance was investigated by the Division of Housing and Urban Development Office environment of the Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Federal Housing Finance Company Office environment of Inspector Typical.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys David A. O’Neal, Alison B. Prout, and former Northern District of Ga Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan Huschka prosecuted the situation.

For further facts remember to make contact with the U.S. Attorney’s General public Affairs Office environment at [email protected] or (404) 581-6016.  The Online tackle for the U.S. Attorney’s Workplace for the Northern District of Ga is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

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