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June 29, 2010

HOUSTON MAN PLEAS GUILTY IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

Admits using Social Security Number of a minor on loan application

(HOUSTON) – Adrian Levale Cole has pleaded guilty to committing wire fraud and false representation of a Social Security number arising from a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney José  Angel Moreno announced today.  

Cole, 39, a Houston area resident, was indicted in June 2009 along with two other co-defendants of perpetrating a scheme to defraud lenders of mortgage loans by making false/fraudulent claims on mortgage loan applications and false representation of a Social Security number. Today he pleaded guilty and admitted his role in the multi-million dollar fraud scheme before U.S. District Judge David Hittner. Judge Hittner has set sentencing for Sept. 23, 2010. 

Cole maintained several business names, including AC Homes and WT homes, with corresponding bank accounts. Through his association with several companies - including Capri Mortgage Services, United National Mortgage and Phantom Marketing - Cole utilized those business names to obtain funds from fraudulently obtained residential mortgage loans.

Today, Cole admitted he purchased a residential property in Houston for $110,000 on Dec. 17, 2004. That property was purchased with funds obtained by using the Social Security number belonging to a minor on a mortgage loan application which created a line of credit that was ultimately approved for $99,000. Loan funds from the bank account of the lender were transmitted in interstate commerce by means of a wire communication into the bank account of the title company.  Out of the loan proceeds, a check was issued for $69,100 to AC Homes, Adrian Levale Cole’s company, as a “Contractor Loan.” No construction work of any kind was ever done by AC Homes on the property located on the 3200 block of Berry Street in Houston.
 
As with other loans obtained as part of this scheme, only the first few monthly mortgage payments were made and the mortgage loans went into default for non-payment. More than $10 million in fraudulent loans were obtained as part of this mortgage fraud scheme between June 2003 and July 2006.  Cole remains on bonding pending further proceedings.
      
Cole faces a maximum punishment of up to 20 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $250,000 and a three-year-term of supervise release.

Cole’s co-defendants are pending trial in July 2010.

The investigation leading to the charges in this case was conducted by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations, the Social Security Administration – Office of Inspector General and Friendswood Police Department.  Assistant United States Attorney Melissa J. Annis and Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Ferko prosecuted the case.

 

 

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