Last Member Of Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy Involving Luxury Condominiums Is Handed Down A 27 Month Sentence
Seven Co-Conspirators Previously Sentenced to Prison Terms of up to 46 Months
CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Late yesterday, Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney sentenced the last member of a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving luxury condominiums in Oak Island, N.C., announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division and Miriam Baer, Executive Director of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission join U.S. Attorney Rose in making today’s announcement.
According to filed court documents and today’s sentencing hearing, throughout 2007 and 2008, Antoine Johnson, 40, of Davidson, N.C., and seven other co-conspirators carried out a mortgage fraud scheme involving luxury condominiums in Oak Island. According to court records, Johnson, who operated as a promoter for the mortgage fraud conspiracy, controlled A&J Entertainment, Inc. (A&J Entertainment), a company used by the conspiracy to funnel kickbacks derived from the fraudulent scheme and to support false or inflated statements of employment and income in mortgage loan applications.
Court documents show that the co-conspirators perpetrated the scheme by recruiting individuals who agreed to buy condominiums in their name but had no intention of living in the properties or making payments to the corresponding mortgage loans (commonly referred to as “straw buyers”). The builder agreed to sell the units to the conspiracy’s straw buyers at an inflated price, causing the lenders to issue mortgage loans based on the inflated prices. Then at closing, the closing attorney prepared separate accounting statements instructing the builder to pay the difference between the true price and the inflated price of the condominiums to one or more of the conspirators.
According to court records, the conspirators induced mortgage lenders to issue mortgage loans, by submitting loan packages that contained forged documents and fraudulent information about the buyers’ income and employment. In some instances, the co-conspirators persuaded and bribed a bank employee to provide a bogus verification of deposit as support for the fraudulently obtained loan. Over the course of the fraudulent scheme, the conspirators caused a total of loss of approximately $4.5 million involving approximately 20 properties.
Court records indicate that Johnson operated as promoter in the scheme, helping to bring the transactions together, for which he received approximately $200,000 in kickbacks funneled through A&J Entertainment’s bank account.
The other seven defendants involved in this fraudulent scheme were previously sentenced as follows:
Robert Davis, Jr., 41, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 46 months in prison and two years of supervised release.Davis operated as a real estate agent for the scheme.
Robert Mahaney, Jr., 55, of Ridgeway, S.C., was sentenced to 30 months in prison and two years of supervised release.Mahaney was a mortgage broker for the conspiracy.
Ahmed H. Green, 37, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 27 months in prison and three years of supervised release.Green acted as a promoter and sometimes as a straw buyer for the conspiracy.
Carisa L. Majesky, 49, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release.Majesky operated as a real estate agent for the scheme.
Somer Bey, 51, of Charlotte, was sentenced to 17 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release.Bey was a real estate agent for the scheme.
Eric Marlon Davis, 43, of Charlotte, was sentenced to nine months in prison and one year of supervised release, nine months of which in home detention. Davis was a promoter in the scheme.
Danielle Anderson, 41, of Charlotte, was sentenced to six months in prison and one year of supervised release six months of which in home confinement. Anderson was a bank employee who participated in the scheme.
Johnson will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal agencies are served without the possibility of parole.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose thanked the FBI and the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for their investigation of this case. Assistant United States Attorney Maria Vento prosecuted the case.