United States Attorney Anne M. Tompkins
Western District of North Carolina
FORMER BEAZER MORTGAGE LOAN OFFICER CHARGED WITH MORTGAGE FRAUD CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Mortgage fraud charges were filed today in U.S. District Court in Charlotte against a former Beazer Mortgage loan officer, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is joined in making today’s announcement by Chris Briese, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Kenneth R. Taylor, Jr., Special Agent in Charge, Office of the Inspector General, Office of Investigation of the Department of Housing and Urban Development. A criminal bill of information charged Janette Parker, 48, of Mint Hill, N.C. with three counts of mortgage fraud. Parker, a loan officer licensed in North Carolina, was formerly employed by Beazer Mortgage Company and served as the Branch Manager of the Charlotte office. According to the criminal information, Parker caused loans to be submitted to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) for insurance on which the collateral (a Beazer home) was overvalued in order to compensate for the cost of down payment assistance needed to qualify the borrower for the loans.
Parker has agreed to plead guilty on all charges contained in the bill of information. According to the plea agreement also filed today, Parker stipulated that the losses directly attributed to her offenses were approximately $877,244. These losses were incurred by the FHA fund after the loans secured by the inflated Beazer homes were foreclosed. Beazer Mortgage Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Beazer Homes, U.S.A., Inc., ceased doing business in February 2008. On July 1, 2009, Beazer Homes entered into a deferred prosecution agreement wherein it admitted, among other violations, that it fraudulently informed some home-buyers that they were receiving a “gift” from a charity to cover their down-payment when, in truth, the price of the home was increased to offset the supposed “gift.” Beazer agreed to pay $10,000,000 immediately toward restitution for victimized home-buyers, and additional money as Beazer recovers financially, up to $50,000,000 million. In addition, in a separate agreement, Beazer agreed to pay $5 million to compensate the United States for losses on FHA loans. As of this date, all known victim claims have been satisfied or are being processed through these agreements.
Since Parker has entered into a plea agreement, she will be summoned to court in order to make her initial appearance and enter her plea of guilty before a U.S. Magistrate Judge. Parker faces a maximum sentence of two years imprisonment for each count, and a fine of up to $250,000. Parker’s sentence will be influenced by the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which the Court consults in order to determine the defendant’s actual sentence. Sentences are based upon a formula that takes into account the severity and characteristics of the offense and the defendant’s criminal history, if any. “The prosecution of Ms. Parker turns the page on another chapter in the Beazer investigation. Ms. Parker is taking responsibility for her part in the mortgage fraud scandal caused in this district by the illegal business practices of some former Beazer Mortgage employees,” Attorney for the United States David Brown noted. “But our investigation into such illegal mortgage and lending practices will continue until all those responsible for their part in the present economic crisis have been identified and prosecuted,” Brown added.
FBI’s Special Agent in Charge Briese stated, “Although Beazer Homes previously accepted responsibility for its fraudulent activities, today’s mortgage fraud charges against Ms. Parker serve as a reminder that it is the wrongful acts of individuals that allow such fraudulent activities to occur and the cumulative effect of such wrongdoing negatively impacts not only the victimized homebuyers, but U.S. taxpayers and our national economy. Fortunately, Ms. Parker has also elected to accept responsibility for her wrongdoing.” “The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigation remains committed to aggressively investigating mortgage fraud as it pertains to Federal Housing Administration insured loans and to helping protect the American tax payer,” said Special Agent in Charge Taylor. “Additionally, the mortgage fraud charges filed against Ms.Janette Parker today are another step in following through on that commitment. Through working closely with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to take actions that will deter those who seek to unjustly enrich themselves, at the expense of those who so desperately need our assistance,” Taylor added.
The prosecution for the case is being by Assistant United States Attorney Michael Savage of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte. The investigation is handled by agents with HUD/OIG and the FBI.