United States v. Glen Alan Ward
Court Docket Nos: 2:12-cr-00785, 2:00-cr-00338
Three criminal cases are pending before the Honorable Dale S. Fischer in the Central District of California and are part of a plea disposition between defendant Glen Alan Ward, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the Criminal Division of the U.S. Department and Justice.
On August 5, 2013, Glen Alan Ward (a/k/a Jacob Alexander, Sean Hamilton, Brandon Michaels, Jacob Cohen, David Warner), a federal fugitive for 12 years, was sentenced to 11 years in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $59,961.71 in restitution.
This sentence follows his April 2013 guilty plea to one count of bankruptcy fraud (Count 1: 18 U.S.C. § 157(3)) and one count of aggravated identity theft (Count 4: 18 U.S.C. § 1028A) charged in an August 2012 indictment and to one count of bankruptcy fraud (Count 1: 18 U.S.C. § 157(3)) charged in a March 2002 indictment, which was filed in the Northern District of California and transferred under Rule 20 to the Central District of California. The charges stemmed from a nearly 15-year foreclosure-rescue scam masterminded by Ward. The remaining charges in both cases, as well as related charges in a third case brought by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California, were dismissed at sentencing. In 2000, Ward failed to appear in court after signing a plea agreement, which arose out of federal charges in the Central District of California related to Ward’s early conduct in the scheme. In 2002, Ward was indicted on multiple counts of bankruptcy fraud in the Northern District of California for continuing the scheme in and around San Francisco. In August 2012, Ward was again indicted in the Central District of California on mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and additional bankruptcy fraud counts after fleeing to Canada. In April 2012, Ward was arrested in Canada on a U.S. provisional arrest warrant based on the 2000 charges in the Central District of California, and in December 2012 he was extradited to the United States to answer all three sets of charges.
According to the plea agreement filed before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer in the Central District of California, Ward admitted to engaging in a fraud scheme that took place from 1997 to April 5, 2012, the day he was arrested by Canadian authorities. According to the plea agreement, Ward led a scheme that solicited and recruited homeowners whose properties were in danger of imminent foreclosure. Ward promised to delay their foreclosures for as long as the homeowners could afford his $700 monthly fee. Once a homeowner paid the fee, Ward accessed a public bankruptcy database and retrieved the name of an individual debtor who recently filed bankruptcy. Ward admitted that he obtained copies of unsuspecting debtors’ bankruptcy petitions and directed his clients to execute, notarize and record a grant deed transferring generally a 1/100th fractional interest in their distressed home into the name of the debtor that Ward provided. Then, after stealing the debtor’s identity, Ward faxed a copy of the bankruptcy petition, the notarized grant deed and a cover letter to the homeowner’s lender or the lender’s representative, directing it to stop the impending foreclosure sale due to the bankruptcy. Because bankruptcy filings give rise to automatic stays that protect debtors’ properties, the receipt of the bankruptcy petitions and deeds in the debtors’ names forced lenders to cancel foreclosure sales. The lenders, which included banks that received government funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), could not move forward to collect money that was owed to them until getting permission from the bankruptcy courts, thereby repeatedly delaying the lenders’ recovery of their money for months and even years. In addition, if a distressed homeowner wanted to complete a loan modification or short sale, they were left to the mercy of Ward to send them forged deeds, supposedly signed by the debtors, to re-unify their title as required by most lenders. As part of the scheme, Ward delayed the foreclosure sales of approximately 824 distressed properties by using at least 414 bankruptcies filed in 26 judicial districts across the country. During that same period, Ward admitted to collecting more than $1.2 million from his clients who paid for his illegal foreclosure-delay services, all of which he has agreed to forfeit.
It is important for you to know that just because the Court ordered the defendant to make restitution to the victims in this case does not mean that the defendant is financially capable of making restitution payments at this time. In the event that sufficient restitution payments are received from the defendant, the funds will be distributed by the Clerk of the United States District Court.
The written information on this website will be updated as new developments arise. If you have any questions about this notice or want to obtain further details on the properties and bankruptcy cases which were used to delay the foreclosures, please contact Special Agent Connie Polite at (562) 983-1484.
A copy of the Plea Agreement can be found by clicking on the link below.