California Man Sentenced to More than 9 Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud and Identity Theft Scheme
George French Jones, Jr., 50, of Santa Monica, California, was sentenced to 113 months in prison today by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola in Miami, after previously pleading guilty to mail fraud and identity theft charges in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving two waterfront residential properties in Broward County, Florida. He was also ordered to pay $1,824,581 in restitution.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made the announcement.
According to information disclosed in open court, in early 2018 Jones identified two residential properties in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which Jones fraudulently pledged as collateral in order to obtain mortgage loans from a private lender.
The two Broward County properties were owned by corporate entities that Jones had no affiliation with and which were in fact owned by independent third parties. To execute his fraudulent loan scheme, Jones created fake identification documents and email addresses in order to impersonate officers of the corporate owners of the two properties. Jones then submitted bogus loan applications and other documents to a private lender in which he pretended to be the owners of the Fort Lauderdale properties. As a result of this scheme, Jones defrauded the private lender out of approximately $1.7 million dollars.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, Miami Beach Police Department, and Florida Office of Financial Regulation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Browne. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nalina Sombuntham is handling the asset forfeiture aspects of the prosecution.