Former Treasure Valley Woman Pleads Guilty to Theft from Financial Institution
BOISE – Season Heather Hymas, 27, of American Fork, Utah, pleaded guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to theft from a financial institution, a misdemeanor, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. The charge is punishable by up to one year in prison, a maximum fine of $100,000, and up to one year of supervised release.
According to the plea agreement, on December 8, 2006, Season Hymas obtained a residential loan based on false statements in a loan application. The false statements included misrepresentations concerning her employment, monthly income, and the account balance of funds held in a bank account.
Season Hymas is scheduled to be sentenced on April 8, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise. The defendant’s husband, Travis Richard Hymas, was sentenced in October 2012 to 24 months in prison for wire fraud and ordered to pay $241,307.04 in restitution.
The case is part of the investigation of mortgage fraud activity related to Crestwood Homes, which involved multiple defendants who bought and sold real estate in order to "flip" it, or gain profits from the sales. Crestwood Homes was a residential builder in the Treasure Valley that filed for bankruptcy in July 2008. After doing so, it was discovered that individuals associated with Crestwood were involved in submitting fraudulent residential loan applications to lenders. The financial institutions and mortgage lenders incurred substantial losses on the loan transactions.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, with assistance provided by the Office of the United States Trustee and the Idaho Department of Insurance. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Idaho and the State of Idaho, Office of the Attorney General.
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.
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