Mortgage Fraud Charges Filed Against Owner of Las Vegas Accounting Firm
Las Vegas, Nev. – A Las Vegas man who owns and operates a local accounting company was arrested this morning on mortgage fraud charges and is scheduled to appear in federal court at 3:00 p.m. for an arraignment, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Cedric Nelson, 51, is charged in a criminal indictment with two counts of wire fraud. The indictment was returned by the federal grand jury on May 25, 2011, and unsealed today following his arrest.
Nelson owns and operates Certified Bookkeeping in Las Vegas. Nelson was formerly employed by the IRS in Las Vegas. According to the indictment, Nelson allegedly devised a scheme to defraud financial institutions for his own use and benefit. Nelson applied for and caused straw buyers to apply for mortgage loans using false and fraudulent information concerning employment, income, assets, and intent to occupy the homes, in order to induce the mortgage lender to fund the loans. Specifically, in August 2006, Nelson purchased a home at 9448 Ojibwa Avenue in Las Vegas for $590,990 using false information. In March 2007, Nelson then sold the same home to a straw buyer for $900,000, and caused false information to be placed in the straw buyer's loan application. The indictment alleges that the financial institution would not have funded the loan had it known the straw buyer's true information, including that the straw buyer did not intend to occupy the house. Nelson allegedly made about $90,000 from this fraudulent mortgage loan transaction.
If convicted, Nelson faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.
The case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Pugh. The investigation was sponsored by President Barack Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. 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. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Persons who have information concerning potential mortgage fraud in Nevada may contact the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Hotline at (702) 584-5555.
An indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.