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July 21, 2009

FATHER, DAUGHTER, WIFE INDICTED IN MORTGAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY

(HOUSTON) - An 11-count sealed indictment charging conspiracy and wire fraud has been unsealed following the arrests of Claymon “Butch” Trammell, Michelle Trammell and Jeannettea Williams, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Claymon Trammell operated real estate and home repair companies in the Houston area. Michelle Trammell, Claymon Trammell’s daughter, operated as a mortgage broker while Jeannettea Williams, Claymon Trammell’s wife, operated as a real estate agent.

Claymon Trammell, 59, of Manvel, Texas, Michelle Trammell, 37, of Katy, Texas, and Jeannettea Williams, 54, of Manvel, Texas, are charged for their alleged involvement in a scheme to defraud residential mortgage lenders out of loans totaling more than $2.5 million in connection with purchase money home loans. The three were arrested this morning without incident by FBI agents at their residences. 

According to allegations in the indictment, the defendants paid individuals to use their names and credit on loan applications to buy residential properties and submitted fraudulent home repair and other invoices to pay themselves from the loan proceeds. Michelle Trammell allegedly filled out loan applications for the straw buyers and provided lenders with false information about borrowers’ employment, income, assets and intent to occupy the properties. Jeannettea Williams notarized borrower occupancy affidavits that borrowers intended to occupy the properties as primary residences, even though she and Claymon Trammell occupied two of the properties, according to the indictment.

The Indictment also provides notice to each defendant of the intent of the United States to forfeit their interest in the $2.5 million they allegedly obtained as a result of the mortgage fraud scheme.

The maximum penalty, upon conviction, for conspiracy and wire fraud affecting a financial institution is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

The three defendants are expected to make their initial appearance today at 2:00 p.m. before United States Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley.

This case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Belinda Beek.

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