News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

MONDAY - April 20, 2009

WILSON MAN PLEADS GUILTY IN MORTGAGE FRAUD CASE

RALEIGH - United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced that in federal court today MAURICE EUGENE JENKINS, 41, of Wilson, North Carolina, pled guilty before United States District Judge James C. Dever, III, to bank fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1344.

A Criminal Information was filed on March 26, 2009. According to the Information, in approximately late 2002 to May, 2008, JENKINS devised a scheme to defraud Longleaf Community Bank, Wachovia Bank, New Century Bank, and Omni National Bank out of over $1,000,000.00. JENKINS, operating as Lessane Properties, LLC, would purchase residential real estate in Fayetteville and the surrounding area, targeting properties that he could purchase for below their tax value and then resell them to investors at the tax value. JENKINS would then obtain a loan from a bank on behalf of the buyer based on the tax value of the property. JENKINS then used part of the loan proceeds to pay off his loan, gave part of the loan to the buyers (his investors) and the rest JENKINS would keep as profit.

JENKINS would make false statements on HUD forms to the banks in order to secure loans for the buyers. He reported that the buyers were making down-payments for the loans. In reality, no down-payment was made, but rather buyers received a payment from JENKINS.

Mr. Holding commented: “This is the type of behavior that has cost all of us, creating toxic assets that harm, and putting our entire economic system in peril. My office will continue to prosecute these cases very vigorously.”

JENKINS faces a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment followed by up to five years of supervised release and a fine of up to $1,000,000.00.

Sentencing is set for July 20, 2009.

Investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney David Bragdon served as prosecutor for the government.

News releases are available on the U. S. Attorney’s web page at www.usdoj.gov/usao/nce within 48 hours of release.

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