News and Press Releases

MORTGAGE FRAUD BROKER SENTENCED TO 72 MONTHS IN LANSING MORTGAGE FRAUD

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 06, 2011

GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN – Joseph Carr, 56, of Lansing Michigan was sentenced today to 72 months (six years) in prison for a his role in a mortgage fraud operation in the Lansing, Michigan area, U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced. At his guilty plea in February, Carr admitted that he defrauded Bank of America by recruiting “straw buyers” to apply for a mortgage loan for a home that he himself intended to occupy, and inflated the value of that home in order to increase the amount of the loan. In this manner, he was able to secure a loan of $175,000 for his own use.

The sentencing hearing occurred before U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff. She imposed a sentence above the recommended range called for by the federal sentencing guidelines because she was concerned about the scope of the economic damage that resulted from the activity of Carr and those assisting him. However, because he has been cooperating with investigators for approximately two years, and has made it possible for the government to bring federal criminal charges against approximately a dozen other individuals engaged in the same kind of mortgage fraud activity, Judge Neff explained that the six year sentence she had selected was below what she otherwise would have imposed for Carr. Carr was allowed to voluntarily surrender himself to the Bureau of Prisons when instructed to do so.

This mortgage fraud activity is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Western District of Michigan’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force. This group was created to investigate and prosecute the growing number of mortgage fraud cases that have recently come to light. U.S. Attorney Davis stated, “Mortgage fraud has played a significant role in the mortgage crisis that has brought so much misery to Michigan citizens. Federal law enforcement will vigorously pursue the perpetrators of these frauds to face the punishment they have earned.”


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