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Attorney General Recognizes Eastern District of Texas Employees
WASHINGTON – An Eastern District of Texas prosecution team was one of 154 members of the Department of Justice recognized by Attorney General Eric Holder and Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys (EOUSA) Director H. Marshall Jarrett with a 2013 Director’s Award.
On Aug.15, 2013, U.S. Attorney John M. Bales recognized Deputy Criminal Chief/Assistant U.S. Attorney in Charge of the Plano Office Shamoil T. Shipchandler, Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher A. Eason, and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard J. Johnson in a ceremony at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Plano.
In personalized letters to the recipients, Attorney General Holder told the three lawyers, “You and your team are responsible for the successful prosecution of the largest mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas to date, and one of the largest in Texas history. Forty defendants conspired to defraud lending institutions by convincing them to approve mortgage loans for residential properties with fraudulently inflated values. Your dedication to this case led to 37 of 40 defendants pleading guilty, successful verdicts in two trials, sentences of up to 120 months’ imprisonment, restitution orders totaling more than $100 million, and forfeitures in excess of $11 million.”
The complex mortgage fraud scheme was led by defendant John Barry, and included title attorneys, escrow officers, real estate agents, loan officers, appraisers, property flippers, and straw buyers. The scheme involved over 114 residential properties in cities throughout Texas, including Allen, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Coppell, Corinth, Cypress, Dallas, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Heath, Highland Village, Houston, Keller, Lantana, Lewisville, Little Elm, Lubbock, Magnolia, McKinney, Plano, Roanoke, Southlake, spring, the Woodlands, and Willis. Shipchandler served as lead counsel during the investigation and early prosecution of the case and as a member of the trial team. Johnson led the trial team for the two trials and Eason served as co-counsel and played a crucial role in streamlining the evidence in the massive case.
“Each day the members of the U.S. Attorneys’ community go to work for the citizens of this country with one goal in mind – to do everything they can to protect the rights of all Americans,” said EOUSA Director Jarrett. “I am continually humbled by their resiliency, dedication, and unparalleled work ethic to accomplish this noble mission. Today’s awardees exemplify what it truly means to be a patriot and it is an honor to recognize them for their extraordinary service.”“The Director’s Awards presented today were earned by individuals who toiled hundreds of hours, not for any notion of individual glory, but because they are driven to serve and to be instruments of justice where wrongdoing has occurred. Just as importantly, in a case like the Barry investigation, the entire office pitched in to a significant degree making it possible for the individual Assistant United States Attorney’s to be successful. I am so proud of Shamoil, Chris and Jay who represent the finest principles in prosecution; they are fair, persistent and highly skilled,” said U.S. Attorney Bales.