Athens-Area Real Estate Scam Artist Sentenced To Federal Prison
G. F. “Pete” Peterman, III, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, announces that Jackie Williams, age 42, from Bishop, Georgia, was sentenced to serve 70 months in Federal prison for wire fraud today by the Honorable C. Ashley Royal, United States District Judge, in Athens. Ms. Williams was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $563,097.01.
Ms. Williams pled guilty to the charge on March 16, 2016. As part of her guilty plea, Ms. Williams admitted to orchestrating a real estate fraud scheme which victimized several people in the Athens, Georgia area. 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.
Noting that the 70-month sentence imposed was greater than the usual range of 33 to 41 months for a fraud of this magnitude, United States Attorney G. F. “Pete” Peterman, III, stated that, “It is particularly disturbing that Ms. Williams’ fraud in this case was against many older or retired victims who invested substantial portions of their savings which, even with the restitution order entered today, they are unlikely to ever recover. If for no other reason, this office is particularly pleased that the Court chose to impose a harsher sentence than what the federal sentencing guidelines typically recommend.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Sheriff’s Offices for Barrow, Madison and Oconee Counties. Assistant United States Attorney Peter Leary handled 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.