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Local real estate broker indicted on federal fraud charges

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 16, 2012

St. Louis, MO - Jerrick Hawkins was indicted on multiple fraud charges involving a scheme to defraud lenders by submitting false information on real estate loan applications. The indictment alleges that most of the loans made as a result of the fraud scheme went into default because the borrowers failed to make payments on the loans.

According to the indictment, from at least 2007 until as late as September 2011, Hawkins recruited various individuals to apply for conventional and FHA loans to purchase properties that he either owned or for which he acted as the broker. Hawkins directed borrowers to supply false employment and income information on loan applications and submitted false documents in support of the loan applications, including pay stubs, W-2s, gift letters and verification of employment forms. In order to conceal the fraud, Hawkins arranged for the verification of the false employment and income information by either directing others to verify the false information or by verifying the false information himself. He allegedly received substantial monetary payments, either directly or through third party entities, in connection with the loans made as a result of the fraud scheme.

JERRICK HAWKINS, St. Louis, MO, was indicted by a federal grand jury on one felony count of bank fraud and two felony counts of making false statements. He was arrested by federal agents this morning and is expected to appear in federal court today.

If convicted, bank fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and/or fines up to $1 million; each count of making false statements carries a maximum of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000. In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General and the Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Reginald Harris is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Every defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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