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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Michigan

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 28, 2013

Gross Ile Businessman Convicted In Mortgage Fraud Case

A Grosse Ile businessman was found guilty today by a federal jury of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.  

U.S. Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The jury convicted Richard Dean Woolsey, 42, after a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn. 

The evidence at trial showed that from 2006 to 2008, Woolsey conspired and defrauded mortgage lenders in numerous transactions in Michigan and Tennessee.  Using his own real estate and appraisal companies, Woosley orchestrated millions of dollars of fraudulent mortgage transactions by directing the activities of bank employees, buyers, appraisers and closing agents.  To complete the scheme, he disguised the source of down payments, provided false and inflated appraisals for properties and provided false income information for buyers to bolster their creditworthiness to qualify for mortgage loans.  

Woolsey was convicted of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  Each count carries a maximum possible penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

We all pay the price for mortgage fraud," McQuade said.  "This crime damages the integrity of our real estate markets and undermines the ability of lending institutions to protect themselves from debilitating losses, which leads to higher costs for all of us," McQuade said.

Special in Charge Abbate stated, “As reflected in the investigation of Mr. Woolsey’s criminal activity and his conviction today, the FBI takes mortgage fraud very seriously. These crimes, particularly those as egregious as Mr. Woolsey’s, not only negatively impact real estate markets, banks, and the financial industry, but hurt our entire community. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate these crimes.”

Sentencing will be set after a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Department.  Bond was continued.

Updated March 19, 2015