Shanita Lacy, age 34, of Chesapeake, Virginia, pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain home mortgages.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after Lacy’s plea was accepted by United States Senior District Judge Henry Coke Morgan, Jr. Lacy faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000 when she is sentenced on March 18, 2011.
According to court documents, Lacy admitted that, during 2007 and 2008, she conspired with others to fraudulently obtain eight mortgage loans worth $1,549,170. Through her Virginia Beach business known as Clean Slate Financial Services, Lacy targeted homeowners in financial distress with false promises of credit repair and action to enable them to save their homes from foreclosure. Lacy then oversaw the sale of the homes at inflated prices to straw buyers, who Lacy helped to obtain mortgage loans based upon falsified income and down payment data. At or soon after the closings, Lacy liquidated and made off with the homeowners’ equity. Soon thereafter, the straw buyers defaulted on the mortgage loans and the homes were foreclosed upon.