East Hampton Woman Sentenced to More Than 5 Years in Prison for Real Estate Appraisal Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that ANN HILS, 55, of East Hampton, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to 63 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for operating a real estate appraisal scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, HILS was not a provisional or certified real estate appraiser in the state of Connecticut at any time. Between approximately December 2006 and March 2008, HILS conspired with her daughter, Brandy Gomez, to obtain more than $47,000 in real estate appraisal fees to which they were not entitled. As part of the scheme, HILS and Gomez knowingly submitted falsified work logs to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection purporting to show that Gomez, a provisional appraiser, completed dozens of real estate appraisals under the supervision of a certified appraiser when, in fact, Gomez had not performed such work and was not entitled to such appraisal fees.
HILS also used the individual names, certified appraiser license numbers, business names, and, in some instances, signatures, of three certified appraisers without their authorization in dozens of fraudulent real estate appraisals. HILS submitted the appraisals to co-conspirators who used the appraisals in support of obtaining fraudulent mortgages for straw borrowers. The appraisals contributed to more than $2.5 million in actual or intended losses to various mortgage lenders.
HILS was ordered to pay $47,908 in restitution.
On August 22, 2014, HILS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud.
On March 19, 2014, Gomez pleaded guilty to the same charge. On May 5, 2015, she was sentenced to one day of imprisonment and five years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay $47,908 in restitution.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.