WASHINGTON – The owner and president of Evans Real Estate Group LLC was sentenced today to 168 months in prison for defrauding investors in real estate funds that invested in the acquisition, renovation and continued operation of existing apartment complexes in Texas, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
Thomas B. Evans, 48, of Centennial, Colo. – a property manager and organizer of real estate investment funds – was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello in Denver. In addition to his prison term, Evans was sentenced to serve five years of supervised release and ordered to pay $12,339,038.53 in restitution.
On Jan. 20, 2012, Evans pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. According to plea documents, from at least April 2005 until April 2007, Evans and a co-conspirator engaged in a scheme to defraud investors in the Garden Stone Apartments LP; Ventana Apartments LP; and Aspen Chase Investments LP real estate investment funds, which invested in existing apartment complexes in Austin, Dallas and San Antonio, Texas. The complexes were to be sold for a profit when renovation was complete.
According to court documents, Evans and a co-conspirator misappropriated project funds; prepared monthly false financial statements for the projects that were sent to investors, banks and other lending institutions; prepared quarterly letters to investors misrepresenting the progress of apartment renovations and occupancy rates; and prepared falsified rent rolls to banks and lending institutions. When a receiver assumed operation of the properties in April 2007, Evans and his co-conspirator provided access to their electronic accounting system without informing the receiver that the system contained falsified information. Investors in Evans’ real estate ventures lost over $12 million.
The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Fred Medick of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.
This prosecution is part of efforts underway by President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. 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 about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.gov.