Tampa, Florida – U.S. District Judge James Moody has sentenced Eric Liebman (34, Tampa) to 15 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bankruptcy fraud. Liebman had pleaded guilty on September 24, 2019.
According to court documents, from January 2010 through February 2017, Liebman conspired with his co-defendant, James Lee Clark, to defraud mortgage creditors and guarantors, such as Fannie Mae, which held mortgage notes on properties that were in foreclosure. Liebman and Clark falsely and fraudulently represented to the distressed homeowners facing foreclosure that in exchange for executing quitclaim or warranty deeds for their properties to an entity controlled by Liebman, they would negotiate with the mortgage creditors to prevent foreclosures. Liebman and Clark convinced the distressed homeowners to pay them rent or agree to put their houses up for sale. In order to continue to collect ill-gotten rents, or profit from sales of the properties, Liebman filed fraudulent bankruptcy petitions in the names of the homeowners to prevent the mortgage creditors from lawfully foreclosing and taking title to the properties.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General. The Office of the United States Trustee for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Division, also provided substantial investigative support. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.