United States v. Andrew H. Williams, Jr. and Related Cases
District of Maryland Case No. RWT-09-213
United States v. Andrew H. Williams, Jr. is assigned to United States District Judge Roger W. Titus. On April 22, 2009, a federal grand jury returned a seventeen-count indictment against Andrew H. Williams, Jr., Michael Anthony Hickson, Isaac Jerome Smith, and Alvita Karen Gunn, charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Michael Hickson was also charged with false declarations, and Isaac Smith was also charged with bank fraud. The indictment can be read here.
On April 28, 2009, Carole Nelson pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering before the Hon. Roger W. Titus (District of Maryland Case No. RWT-09-214).
On May 11, 2009, Charlotte Melissa Josephine Hardmon pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud before the Hon. Roger W. Titus (District of Maryland Case No. RWT-09-255).
On July 7, 2010, Michael Ron Worthy pleaded guilty to two counts of failure to file income tax returns before the Hon. Roger W. Titus (District of Maryland Case No. RWT-10-253).
On February 18, 2011, a federal jury convicted Michael Anthony Hickson, Isaac Jerome Smith, and Alvita Karen Gunn each of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, fifteen counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Michael Hickson was also convicted of making a false declaration. All three defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for the fraud conspiracy, 20 years in prison on each of the fifteen counts of wire fraud, and 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit money laundering. Hickson also faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison for making false statements.
U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus scheduled sentencing for Michael Hickson on July 1, 2011 at 11:00 a.m., Isaac Smith on June 27, 2011 at 1:00 p.m., and Alvita Gunn on June 27, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
On June 27, 2011, U.S. District Judge Roger W. Titus sentenced Isaac Jerome Smith, age 48, of Spotsylvania, Virginia; and Alvita Karen Gunn, age 33, of Hanover, Maryland today to 70 months and 60 months in prison, each followed by three years of supervised release, respectively, for a fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with their participation in a massive mortgage fraud scheme which promised to pay off homeowners’ mortgages on their “Dream Homes,” but left them to fend for themselves. Click here to read the rest of the press release.
Trial begins on November 1, 2011 in federal courtroom 2C in Greenbelt, Maryland against lead defendant Andrew H. Williams, Jr. in an alleged $78 million “Dream Home” fraud scheme. According to the indictment filed in case no 09-CR-00213, Williams was the founder and leader of “Metropolitan Grapevine,” which also did business as “Metro Dream Homes” or “POS Dream Homes.” From 2005 to 2007, Williams and co-defendants Michael Anthony Hickson, Alvita Karen Gunn, and Isaac Jerome Smith allegedly used corporate names such as “Metropolitan Grapevine LLC,” “Metro Dream Homes,” “POS Dream Homes,” and “POS DH LLC” (collectively, MDH) to target homeowners and home purchasers to participate in a purported mortgage payment program called the “Dream Homes Program.” To participate, an investor had to provide a minimum of $50,000 for each home enrolled in the program, plus an “administrative fee” of up to $5,000. In exchange, the program promised to fund the homeowner’s future monthly mortgage payments and pay off the homeowner’s mortgage within five to seven years. More than 1,000 investors in the Dream Homes program invested approximately $78 million. The indictment alleges that the defendants stopped making the mortgage payments and the homeowners were left to attempt to make the mortgage payments MDH had promised to pay in full. Trial against Williams is expected to last 6 weeks.
Co-defendants Hickson, Gunn and Smith were convicted at trial in February 2011 and await sentencing in June and July 2011.
The leader of the Metro Dream Homes scam , Andrew Williams, was found guilty of all counts in the indictment on Thursday , November 10, 2011. His sentencing date has been set for March 30, 2012 before Judge Roger Titus.
Information for Investors
Investors are requested to gather any documents that they have concerning their investments with Metro Dream Homes or POS Dream Homes and to regularly check this web site for information about developments in this investigation and further instructions on how to provide information to the pertinent authorities.
Federal crime victims* have the following rights, as set forth in the Justice for All Act of 2004, 18 U.S.C. §3771:
(1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused.
(2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused.
(3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding.
(4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding.
(5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case.
(6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law.
(7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay.
(8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim's dignity and privacy.
*Under the statute, "the term ‘crime victim' means a person directly and proximately harmed as a result of the commission of a Federal offense or an offense in the District of Columbia. In the case of a crime victim who is under 18 years of age, incompetent, incapacitated, or deceased, the legal guardians of the crime victim or the representatives of the crime victim's estate, family members, or any other persons appointed as suitable by the court, may assume the crime victim's rights under this chapter, but in no event shall the defendant be named as such guardian or representative.
The United States Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland is committed to protecting the rights of crime victims. If you are a victim of an offense being prosecuted by our Office, our Victim/Witness Unit can make sure that you are notified of important stages of the case to help you exercise your rights. In addition, our Victim/Witness Unit can help refer you to agencies that provide other services to witnesses, such as compensation and counseling. For information or assistance with referrals, please contact:
United States Attorney's Office
6500 Cherrywood Lane
Greenbelt, Maryland 20770