Former Real Estate Agents Plead Guilty To Bank Fraud
LAS VEGAS, Nev. – A husband and wife who worked as real estate agents in southern Nevada have pleaded guilty to bank fraud charges in connection with several residential short sale transactions that resulted in over $350,000 in losses to Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Cynthia Hosbrook, 41, and Robert Hosbrook, 52, both of Henderson, Nev., pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jennifer A. Dorsey to one count of bank fraud. They face up 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million, as well as mandatory restitution. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for March 3, 2014, at 10:00 a.m.
According to their guilty plea agreements, Cynthia Hosbrook had been an active real estate salesperson in Nevada since April 17, 2000, and Robert Hosbrook was licensed as a real estate salesperson in Nevada from Oct. 20, 2009, to Oct. 31, 2010. In 2010, the Hosbrooks engaged in a short-sale fraud scheme involving the sale of their personal residence to Cynthia Hosbrook’s mother. The Hosbrook’s defrauded Wells Fargo Bank and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) by falsely representing that the short sale was due to personal hardship, that the transaction was an arm’s length transaction, that the sellers and buyers were not family members, and that the seller would not remain in the property subsequent to the sale. In fact, the Hosbrooks made a cash sale of the residence to Cynthia Hosbrook’s mother, and then continued to reside in the home after the sale even though they were not suffering from a personal hardship. The scheme resulted in a loss to Wells Fargo Bank and Freddie Mac of approximately $173,559. The Hosbrooks were also involved in two other fraudulent short-sale fraud transactions involving homes in Las Vegas and North Las Vegas during 2008 and 2009.
The case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of the Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Gregory Damm.
Today's announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.