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St. Louis man sentenced on fraud charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 14, 2012

St. Louis, MO - The United States Attorney’s Office announced today that JOHN WICKER, of St. Louis, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme involving a residence in South St. Louis.

Wicker admitted with his plea in December to "refinancing" his personal residence by orchestrating a fraudulent sale to an associate of his in 2009. Wicker promised the buyer that he would buy the house on paper only and that Wicker would make the payments and continue to reside in the house. As a result of the fraudulent sale, Wicker was able to pay off his delinquent mortgage and pull a sizable amount of cash out of the property. Contrary to his promises to the straw buyer, Wicker failed to make the payments and failed to pay the straw buyer the $10,000 he had promised him for using his name. Ultimately, the mortgage fell into delinquency and the house went into foreclosure. All the while, Wicker and his family had been able to remain in their home rent free.

Wicker admitted to making a false statement to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with his December plea. He appeared today for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson.

This case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for HUD and the St. Louis Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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