Businessman Sentenced for Fraud that Targeted Elderly Homeowners
NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – A Virginia Beach man was sentenced today to 11 years in prison for conducting a home modification loan fraud scheme that primarily targeted elderly homeowners in the Tidewater area.
In January, Gregory J. Ziglar, 61, was convicted of 16 charges following a two-week trial. According to court documents, from 2014 to 2017, orchestrated an extensive home improvement loan fraud in the Tidewater area that victimized banks and individual victims, many of whom were elderly. Ziglar developed a scheme to place individual homeowners into federally insured loans to do improvements on their homes, but instead, diverted funds to his own use. Ziglar conducted this scheme in the guise of a legitimate business using various company names and a fake name for himself in dealing with clients, banks and contractors. He exploited a federal program designed to assist homeowners and tradesmen and advertised to homeowners that such funds could be used for any purpose. In order to obtain these loans, Ziglar submitted false estimates or purported agreements from contractors to justify these improvements. The homeowners received the loans and paid Ziglar an unlawful service fee for moving their loan application through the bank. They also paid him for the home improvements he promised to get done, but many times little or no work was done leaving the individual homeowners with a loan debt and no improvements, while leaving Ziglar with thousands in loan proceeds.
Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult. It is a term used to describe five subtypes of elder abuse: physical abuse, financial fraud, scams and exploitation, caregiver neglect and abandonment, psychological abuse, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens, affecting at least 10 percent of older Americans every year. Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combatting all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Kelly R. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge, Washington, D.C. Field Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); Peter R. Rendina, Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Shawn Rice, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Mid-Atlantic Region, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian J. Samuels prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 4:19-cr-30.