Tampa Real Estate Agent Indicted For Bankruptcy Fraud
Tampa, Florida – United States Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez announces the unsealing of an indictment charging David Lyle Morgan (53, Tampa) with two counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of falsification of records in a bankruptcy proceeding. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.
According to the indictment, Morgan, a licensed realtor, entered into a contract with a homeowner to sell a property in foreclosure. In order to prevent the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) from lawfully foreclosing on the homeowner’s property, Morgan engaged in a bankruptcy fraud scheme whereby he filed fraudulent bankruptcy petitions in the homeowner’s name, without the homeowner’s knowledge or consent, just prior to the scheduled foreclosure sale dates. These fraudulent bankruptcies invoked the automatic stay provision of the bankruptcy code and prevented Fannie Mae from conducting the sale and obtaining title to the property. They also allowed Morgan to continue his efforts to sell the property to obtain illegal real estate commissions.
The indictment further alleges that Morgan made false declarations on a fraudulent bankruptcy petition that he had filed in the name of the homeowner, impeding the proper administration of a bankruptcy proceeding.
An indictment is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.
This case was investigated by 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 assistance. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.