DOJ-USA Seal
U.S. Department of Justice


United States Attorney James T. Jacks
Northern District of Texas

 

 

 
 

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
MEDIA INQUIRIES: KATHY COLVIN

THURSDAY, APRIL 28, 2011
http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/txn/

 

 


 

 

REAL ESTATE APPRAISER SENTENCED TO 46 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON
FOR ROLE IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

Scheme Largely Orchestrated by Eric Rulack Farrington
Who is to Be Sentenced June 2, 2011


DALLAS
— Rejis Lamont Williams, a Texas certified real estate appraiser, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Sam A. Lindsay to 46 months in federal prison for his role in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney James T. Jacks of the Northern District of Texas. In addition, Judge Lindsay ordered that Williams, 45, of Dallas, pay approximately $1 million in restitution and forfeit approximately $1.2 million to the U.S. In addition, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will send a copy of his judgment to the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board for whatever action they deem appropriate. Williams must surrender to the Bureau of Prisons by July 26, 2011, to begin serving his sentence.

Williams, along with seven other defendants including Eric Rulack Farrington, Jr., 58, of Irving, Texas, was convicted in April 2010, following a nearly two-month long trial on various offenses related to a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme they operated in the Dallas area from March 2002 until January 2006. Specifically, Williams, who did business as Executive Certified Appraisal, was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and aiding and abetting, nine counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting and five counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property and aiding and abetting.

Farrington, the lead defendant in the case, was the president of Eric Farrington Seminars, Inc. and Prestige Capital Corporation, which did business as Farrington Mortgage Group. He was a manager of EFC Investments, LLC, which did business as EFC Management Company. All were located in Dallas. The jury convicted Farrington on all 32 counts of the superseding indictment, including: one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and aiding and abetting, 15 counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, 10 counts of money laundering and aiding and abetting and five counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property and aiding and abetting. He is scheduled to sentenced by Judge Lindsay on June 2, 2011.

Farrington's former fiancé, Janice Little Shepherd, 52, also of Irving, was a mortgage broker who did business as EFC Capital Mortgage Company, in Dallas. She was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 11 counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, and four counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property and aiding and abetting. She is scheduled to be sentenced on June 1, 2011.

Other defendants convicted in the scheme include:

∙ Kevin Ray Sanderson, 36, of Irving, Texas, was a business associate of Farrington and the vice president of Farco Construction, Inc., Dallas, which also did business as Farrington Mortgage Group. He was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, four counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting and one count of money laundering. Earlier this week he was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay $762,983 restitution, and forfeit approximately $1.2 million to the U.S.

∙ James Edward Jones, 45, of Dallas, was a real estate agent. He was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. On August 27, 2010, he was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $624,414 restitution and forfeit approximately $1.2 million to the U.S.

∙ Edwin Terrence Bell, 44, of Fort Worth, Texas, was in the real estate management business and was the president of Togetherness, Inc. Bell also did business as The Togetherness Group and TTG, Inc. He was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, five counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting and two counts of engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property and aiding and abetting. On August 27, 2010, he was sentenced to 41 months in prison and ordered to pay $442,604 in restitution and forfeit approximately $1.2 million to the U.S.

∙ Micheal (sic) Lewis Andrews, 51, of Plano, Texas, was chief executive officer of Second Chance Mortgage, Inc. and did business as 2nd Chance Mortgage. He was convicted on two counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. He was sentenced last week to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $108,659 in restitution.

∙ Robert John Mason, 56, of Oak Leaf, Texas, was an employee of Prestige Capital Corporation. He was convicted of two counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. He was sentenced in July 2010 to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $463,722 in restitution.

Prior to trial, Marcus Allen Parker, 36, of Rowlett, Texas, who was an associate of defendant Kevin Ray Sanderson, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was sentenced in July 2010 to three years probation.

The scheme was largely orchestrated by Farrington - a motivational speaker and author of a real estate book who had an infomercial on making money in real estate that ran on late night television. The defendants located single-family residences for sale in the Dallas area, including distressed and pre-foreclosure properties, and negotiated a sales price with the seller. They created surplus loan proceeds by inflating the sales price to an arbitrary amount substantially more than the fair market value of the residence, many times using inflated appraisals. In some cases, they would create a bogus outstanding mortgage lien to be discharged. They recruited individuals with high credit scores to act as borrowers and falsely represented to them that the property would be managed by the defendants and rented by a suitable tenant; that the mortgage, interest, taxes, insurance and property maintenance would be paid from the rental income; and the purchasers/borrowers would have no expenses. The borrowers had no intention to live in the property and did not have sufficient income to repay the loans. They said they relied on Farrington.

The defendants prepared and submitted fraudulent loan documents showing inflated incomes in the names of the borrowers and obtained loans in inflated amounts based on these fraudulent loan documents. Then they used the fraudulently obtained surplus loan proceeds to pay the sellers kickbacks, to conceal the fraud, and distributed the bulk of the proceeds among themselves. They would then allow the loan to go into foreclosure after a few payments were made on the loan.

Some of the residences used in the scheme include:

1420 Travis Circle South, Irving, Texas
6231 Azalea Lane, Dallas
7730 Cliffbrook Drive, Dallas
10907 Cinderella Lane, Dallas
7617 Arborgate Drive, Dallas
13735 Ashridge Drive, Dallas
6824 Winterwood Lane, Dallas
6840 Winterwood Lane, Dallas
6915 Winterwood Lane, Dallas
7012 Creek Bend Road, Dallas
1509 Appalachian Drive, Allen, Texas

Mortgage fraud is a major focus of 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. For more information about the task force visit: www.stopfraud.gov.

U.S. Attorney Jacks praised the investigative efforts of the FBI and Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the cooperation of several state agencies including the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending and the Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Joseph Revesz and Walt Junker are prosecuting the case.

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