News and Press Releases

Las Vegas Business Owner Sentenced to 97 Months In Federal Prison for Wire Fraud and Money Laundering

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 15, 2002

Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and Grant Ashley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for Nevada, announced that DAVID ALLAN VAN VELZER, JR., the owner of American Mortgage Industries (AMI), a mortgage company with offices in Las Vegas and southern California, was sentenced today to 97 months in prison for wire fraud and money laundering. The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush, following a jury trial in December 2001, at which the defendant was convicted of twelve counts of wire fraud and seventeen counts of money laundering.

VAN VELZER, age 40, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas in October 2001. According to the Indictment and evidence introduced at trial, between 1996 and 1997, VAN VELZER'S business AMI, provided residential real estate loans to home buyers and funded the loans by borrowing money from lines of credit it had with corporations and financial institutions or by selling the loans to financial institutions and other companies. AMI had lines of credit with Imperial Warehouse Lending Group and Bank One Arizona, and sold loans to Freddie Mac and ICI Funding Corporation. VAN VELZER created false loan documents showing that people were buying homes worth certain amounts of money when he knew many of the representations were false and fraudulent. VAN VELZER knew that the buyers were not actually buying the houses; that the buyers did not make the income or have the assets they represented in the loan documents; that some of the properties were vacant pieces of land; that the purported homes were not worth what they were represented to be worth; and that many of the documents were falsely and fraudulently notarized.

The Court found that VAN VELZER had obstructed justice by attempting to persuade two people to testify falsely on his behalf. Judge Quackenbush sentenced the Defendant to 97 months in federal prison and ordered him to pay restitution of $1,650,858.38 to Bank One of Arizona and $2,709,297.30 to the Freddie Mac Corporation, and also ordered that VAN VELZER be placed on supervised release for a period of three years following his term of imprisonment.

The prosecution was the result of a lengthy investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and investigators of the Freddie Mac Corporation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel R. Schiess.

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