Two More Convicted of Mortgage Fraud
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – In February, Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that nine defendants had been federally indicted for their involvement in several multi-jurisdictional mortgage fraud schemes and that two previously indicted defendants had been sentenced to prison. Today, two additional defendants have been found guilty and are now await sentencing.
Raysean K. Richardson, 27, of New York, was found guilty today of all counts following a week-long trial in Pensacola before Chief United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers. In September 2011, a federal grand jury in Pensacola returned a three-count indictment against Richardson, charging conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. A jury found today that Richardson obtained fraudulent mortgage loans of $617,500 to purchase a Navarre residence in July 2007. As part of the conspiracy, in a series of financial transactions following the loan closing, Richardson received approximately $135,961 in kickbacks. Evidence at trial also showed that, during the two and a half months leading up to Richardson’s fraudulent purchase of the Navarre home, Richardson obtained fraudulent mortgages of $449,800 for a two unit residence in Los Angeles, California, and fraudulent mortgages of $536,000 for two townhomes in Sarasota, Florida. Richardson faces up to twenty years in prison on each count and is scheduled for sentencing on November 19, 2012.
Earlier today, Keasha Rogers, 36, of Atlanta, pled guilty before Senior United States District Court Judge Lacey Collier. In December 2011, a federal grand jury in Pensacola returned a six-count indictment against Rogers and a co-defendant, charging each with mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. In a statement to the court as part of her plea, Rogers admitted to obtaining fraudulent mortgage loans to purchase a residence in Navarre. As part of the conspiracy, Rogers received approximately $47,000 in kickbacks from the $630,000 loan she obtained to purchase the home. Rogers pled guilty to Counts One, Three and Six of the indictment and now faces sentencing on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Rogers faces a maximum of twenty years in prison on each count and will be sentenced by Senior Judge Collier on November 27, 2012.
“These convictions are a continuation of this office’s commitment to combat mortgage fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Marsh. “These are complicated and difficult matters to investigate and prosecute, but clearly the evidence gathered by the investigators and presented by the prosecutor was solid and persuasive. I am deeply grateful for the dedicated and professional team of agents and attorneys whose tremendous work led to this result.”
Approximately a year ago, many indictments were announced as part of Operation Stolen Dreams, a nationwide sweep targeting fraudulent mortgage loans. The investigation was the largest collective enforcement effort ever brought to bear in confronting the problem. The national emphasis was initiated by the Mortgage Fraud Working Group of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
Today’s convictions are the result of ongoing investigations being handled by Special Agents with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. These cases were prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.