Federal Mortgage Fraud Charges Filed Against Five Persons
Las Vegas, Nev. – Five persons were indicted by the federal grand jury today on mortgage fraud charges, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Lloyd H. Gardley, 56, and Candis Gardley, 53, of Chandler, Arizona; Suzanne McAllister, 32, of Las Vegas; Arcell Mitchell, Jr., 31, of Ft. Riley, Kansas; and Sharon Wagner, 61, of Sun City West, Arizona, are charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, six counts of bank fraud, and criminal forfeiture.
Arrest warrants have been issued for the Gardleys and Mitchell. Defendants McAllister and Wagner were summoned, and are scheduled for an initial appearance before a United States Magistrate Judge in Las Vegas on Friday, June 4, 2010, at 8:30 a.m.
Lloyd Gardley was president, director, secretary and resident agent of Prolific Management, Inc., a Nevada corporation, and registered agent of Avante Conquest, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company. Lloyd and Candis Gardley were managing members of Excel Consulting, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company. Candis Gardley was president and resident agent of Oakhill Management, Inc., a Nevada corporation. McAllister was an assistant escrow officer and notary at Lawyers Title. Mitchell worked as a loan officer for Valley Mortgage Group. Wagner was a realtor for Coldwell Banker Wardley.
The Indictment alleges that from about 2005 to April 2007, the defendants devised a mortgage fraud scheme which involved the use of straw buyers and the submission of false information to financial institutions in order to obtain mortgage loans. The defendants solicited persons to act as straw buyers to purchase real estate, and in some instances, the defendants had the straw buyers purchase multiple houses at or about the same time. The defendants caused to be submitted to the financial institutions mortgage loan applications containing fraudulent information about the straw buyers' employment, income, assets, liabilities, rental history, value of the property, intent to occupy the homes, social security number, and source of earnest money deposits and costs. The Indictment lists 28 real property sales transactions involving 21 homes sold in Las Vegas between August 25, 2005, and April 18, 2007. Seven of the homes were "flipped" or sold twice within short periods of time. The majority of the homes sold for more than $700,000, and the total value of the mortgages for the 28 transactions was $18.9 million.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine on each count, and may be required to forfeit up to approximately $4.2 million.
This investigation is being led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other agencies of the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Task Force, including the FBI, Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Secret Service, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Brian Pugh.
Persons who have information concerning potential mortgage fraud may contact the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Hotline at (702) 584-5555.
This law enforcement action is sponsored by President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.