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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Athens-Area Real Estate Scam Artist Pleads Guilty

George F. Peterman, III, Acting United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announced that Jackie Williams, age 42, from Bishop, Georgia, pleaded guilty to Wire Fraud today before the Honorable C. Ashley Royal, United States District Judge.  As part of her guilty plea, Ms. Williams admitted to orchestrating a real estate fraud which victimized several people in the Athens, Georgia area.  Ms. Williams now faces a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000.00 fine.  

“Ms. Williams stole hard-earned money from people who trusted her,” said Acting U.S. Attorney George F. Peterman, III. “Her scheme harmed victims across numerous counties, and I commend the tenacious efforts of our law enforcement partners to bring her to justice.”

In pleading guilty, Ms. Williams admitted to defrauding investors from 2012-2014; specifically, she induced people to invest in a purported real estate business, claiming that she bought distressed homes and sold them for a substantial profit.  However, in numerous cases Ms. Williams never purchased the home that she told her victims she had used their money to buy, and she created falsified documents, such as fake purchase contracts and mortgage preapproval letters, to perpetuate her fraud.  In fact, Ms. Williams used her investors’ money for her own personal gain, and/or to pay off portions of the money she had borrowed from previous investors.  As part of her guilty plea, Ms. Williams admitted that she owes $563,097.01 in restitution to eight victims.

J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge FBI Atlanta Field Office, stated: "The FBI is pleased with the role it played in bringing this case forward for federal prosecution. Today's guilty plea will begin the process of holding the defendant responsible for her greed-based criminal conduct and will hopefully provide some solace and relief to her victims."

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Sheriff’s Offices for Barrow, Madison and Oconee County.  Assistant United States Attorney Peter Leary is handling the prosecution for the Government.

Inquiries regarding the case should be directed to Pam Lightsey at the United States Attorney’s Office at 478-752-3511.

Topic: 
Financial Fraud
Updated March 18, 2016