Week In Review – South Bend
South Bend, Indiana — The United States Attorney’s Office announced the following activity in Federal Court:
- Carla Latice Merriweather, 25, of South Bend, Indiana pled guilty to the felony offense of being a drug user in possession of a firearm. The magistrate judge is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea. Parties have 14 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Sentencing has been set for January 8, 2015. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald J. Schmid.
- Marie Roberts Henderson, 36, of Nappanee, Indiana pled guilty to the felony offense of willfully aiding, assisting and advising in the preparation and presentation to the Internal Revenue Service, of U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns, Forms 1040 which were false as to a material matter. The magistrate judge is recommending that the district court accept the tendered guilty plea. Parties have 14 days in which to object to the magistrate judge’s recommendation. This charge was filed as a result of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-CID. Sentencing has been set for January 22, 2015. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Barbara Brook.
If convicted in court, any specific sentence to be imposed will be determined by the judge after a consideration of federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
- Willie Long, 23, of Elkhart, Indiana was sentenced to 51 months imprisonment with 18 months supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of being a felon in possession of a firearm. According to documents filed in this case, Long was driving an automobile in St. Joseph County, Indiana with a Smith & Wesson handgun in the car. Long had been convicted of a felony in Elkhart County in 2007 in Circuit Court. This case was the result of an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Frank Schaffer.
- John Carlisle, 50, of New Haven, Indiana was sentenced to 37 months imprisonments to be followed by two years of supervised release after pleading guilty to the felony offense of making false statements in connection with a mortgage loan and mortgage insurance. According to documents filed in this case, during the period 2008 through 2010, John Carlisle was a licensed loan originator in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Ryan Webb, in conjunction with Johnny Stine and others, purchased low-end homes in the Fort Wayne area, often using an entity called Sunset Properties of NI, LLC. Through the use of advertising and a website, Webb and Stine attracted buyers for these properties. Webb and Stine would then sell these low end homes to these buyers, most often for a sales price of two or three times what had been paid for the homes. Oftentimes, the purchasers of the homes were of very modest financial means and could not, on their own, qualify for the needed mortgage loan. As part of a fraud scheme, Webb and Stine provided monies to the home buyers/borrowers to cover loan closing costs and to give the appearance that the buyers had assets in reserve. To hide the fact that all of the monies for closing and reserves had come from Webb/Stine (monies that were supposed to come from the buyers/borrowers or persons who were relatives of them but in fact came from the seller/real estate broker), Webb and Stine with the knowledge and help of Carlisle prepared phony “gift letters” documenting falsely that the monies Webb and Stine provided had come from family or relatives of the buyers/borrowers. These sham gift letters with false representations violated applicable HUD/FHA mortgage insurance regulations and in fact deceived HUD/FHA. Because these buyers/borrowers could not on their own qualify for the mortgage loans, they frequently defaulted soon after getting the mortgage loans and the homes went into foreclosure, which caused substantial losses to the mortgage lenders and mortgage insurance provider HUD/FHA. This case was the result of an investigation by the FBI. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Donald Schmid.