News and Press Releases

Lehigh Acres Developer Pleads Guilty to Fraud

January 20, 2012

Fort Myers, Florida - United States Attorney Robert E. O'Neill announces that Harvey Miles Lowell (35, Lehigh Acres) today pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and six counts of wire fraud. Lowell faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison as to each offense.

According to the plea agreement, by at least April 2008, through October 2008, Lowell conspired with others to defraud mortgage lenders by providing false information in HUD-1 settlement statements. As part of the scheme, Lowell paid home buyers to participate in the fraud. Lenders were led to believe that buyers made down payments at closing, when in fact, the buyers made no down payment and were paid money outside of closing for buying the home. As a result, Lowell and others caused the mortgage lenders to collectively provide unqualified loan applicants in excess of $1,000,000 towards the purchase of six residential properties. Most of the properties have been foreclosed upon, which resulted in losses to the mortgage lenders.

This case was investigated by Office of Inspector General-Housing and Urban Development. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesus M. Casas.









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