News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

FRIDAY - August 13, 2010

FOUR PLEAD GUILTY IN MORTGAGE FRAUD CASE

GREENVILLE - The United States Attorney Office announced that in federal court yesterday four defendants pled guilty before United States Magistrate Judge David W. Daniel to a mortgage fraud conspiracy. BRIAN KEITH CAUSEY, 37, of Wilmington, North Carolina; HORACE HANCE MAYO III, 39, of Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina; MICHAEL PAUL FLUHARTY, 33, of Little River, South Carolina; and TYRONE FORD, 39, also of Wilmington, North Carolina, each pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire and mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.

A Criminal Information was filed on June 21, 2010.

In late 1990, co-defendant Daniel Adams Rooks bought property in Columbus County, which he then subdivided and put mobile homes on each parcel. Low-income purchasers, who did not qualify for any type of government-backed mortgage, were solicited as buyers. Loan applications were prepared and submitted by CAUSEY, MAYO, FLUHARTY, and FORD with falsified and fictitious information regarding employment history, income, and other assets, along with letters of credit.

CAUSEY, who worked for Wachovia, in Wilmington, North Carolina, was responsible for falsifying information and submitting false documents in support of loan documents. The investigation revealed that as a former Loan Officer, he underwrote approximately 10 loans. After CAUSEY left his position at Wachovia, he went into the mortgage loan business with MAYO. The investigation identified MAYO as being responsible for three false and fictitious loans. FLUHARTY, a former employee of Daniel Rooks’, assisted Alford Rooks with falsifying documents regarding the down payments. The investigation found that FLUHARTY was involved in five false loans. FORD recruited straw buyers; people who agreed to provide their financial information and good credit in exchange for money so that a loan could be taken out to buy one of the foreclosed mobile units. FORD, acting as a straw buyer himself, provided false and fictitious loan applications to mortgage lenders.

It was determined that during the conspiracy over 150 loans were submitted with false and fictitious information and over $6 million in loan disbursements. Only two of the loans were not foreclosed upon.

At sentencing, scheduled for November, 2010, each defendant faces up to 30 years’ imprisonment followed by up to five years’ supervised release and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas Murphy represented 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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