Mid-trial a mother and daughter fraudster team, along with an accomplice from Las Vegas, pleaded guilty to participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that lead to more than $1.9 million in mortgage loan losses to lenders.
Mother, Patricia Smith, pleaded guilty to Counts Four and Five of the Superseding Indictment, which charged her with wire fraud. Daughter, Jamilah Smith, pleaded guilty to Counts Two and Three of the Superseding Indictment, which charged her with wire fraud. Pleading along with them was Carol Ashley to Counts Four and Five of the Superseding Indictment which charged her with wire fraud.
What’s strange about this trial is that all three defendants entered their guilty pleas after five days of trial.
Apparently, Patricia and Jamilah Smith served as “straw buyers” to purchase two condominiums each in North Wildwood, New Jersy. The straw buyers had good credit scores, but lacked the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans. The Smiths’ accomplices created false documents, such as fake bank statements, W-2 Forms, and pay stubs to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were in order to induce the lenders to make the loans. Ashley falsely verified to the lenders that Patricia Smith worked for Ashley’s company, Exclusive Entertainment Production, based in the Los Angeles area.
Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with real estate closings on the properties, the defendants’ accomplices took a portion of the proceeds from the fraudulent mortgage loans and ultimately paid the Smiths for their roles.
Each charge to which the defendants pleaded guilty carry a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Patricia Smith agreed to forfeit $82,716.80, and Jamilah Smith agreed to forfeit $65,047.70, representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the offenses.
Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled March 2012. A fourth defendant named in the Superseding Indictment Ollie Rudolph Thaxton, pleaded guilty to Count One, which charged him with wire fraud on Sept. 20, 2011, and is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 12, 2012 – Source.
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