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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Tennessee

Thursday, February 27, 2014

James Lee Bishop Pleads Guilty To Bank Fraud In One-Count Criminal Information

Memphis, TN – James Lee Bishop, 47, of Memphis, TN, pleaded guilty today to a one-count criminal information charging him with bank fraud against Community Bank in Jackson, TN, announced U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III.

According to the facts revealed during the plea hearing and alleged in the criminal information, from October 2007 through July 2010, Bishop conspired with Clay McCormack, a closing attorney in Jackson, to produce fraudulent documents as part of a scheme to defraud Community Bank and First South Bank.

Bishop admitted that on or about July 17, 2009, as part of the scheme to defraud Community Bank, a residential loan was closed on a piece of property located at 319 Fairmont, Jackson, TN by McCormack. To further their scheme, McCormack created or directed the creation of a fraudulent HUD-1 showing that the first mortgage to the Bank of Jackson, in the amount of $36,000, was being paid in full.

McCormack ordered a check to be written to the Bank of Jackson in the amount of $36,000, and then on July 20, 2009, McCormack ordered an employee to void the check and instead to write a $36,000 check payable to Bishop, who deposited the check.

On December 8, 2009, McCormack created or directed the creation of a letter to Community Bank. This letter fraudulently advised Community Bank that the bank was now in “a first (1st) mortgage lien against the tract.”

McCormack then allowed Bishop to provide “cash from borrower” in the amount of $8,613.83 through his company, Premier Funding Group LLC. On the HUD-1, McCormack indicated that Cash from Borrower payment had originated from H&H Properties. In this document, McCormack indicated that the payoff of the first mortgage loan to the Bank of Jackson had occurred.

This case was investigated by the FBI Memphis, Jackson Resident Office and by the United States Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Henry on behalf of the government.

The charges and allegations contained in the information are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Updated March 19, 2015