So, A Fraudster, Arsonist And Drug Dealer Walk Into A Bar… OUCH.
The last of the six defendants in an indictment charging mortgage fraud, arson, marijuana trafficking and money laundering has entered a guilty plea in federal court in Michigan as of last week.
The following defendants entered guilty pleas before United States District Judge Sean Cox:
- Linda Abdullah, aka Linda Holt (pled guilty to bank fraud, arson, conspiracy to distribute marijuana and money laundering conspiracy)
- Eric Waldon (pled guilty to making a false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of the United States)
- Rolando Hampton (pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana)
- Felicia Hairston (pled guilty to money laundering conspiracy)
- Jacqueline Holt, aka Jacqueline Jones (pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana) and;
- Andrew Holt (pled guilty to conspiracy to distribute marijuana).
The indictment, unsealed in July of 2011, charged that Linda Abdullah (aka Linda Holt), from August 18, 2006 through February 27, 2009, devised and participated in a scheme to defraud various lenders by acting as a mortgage broker and arranging six mortgage loans to purchase five properties for straw buyers based on false statements pertaining to their employment, income, the source of their down payments and their intentions to reside in the homes. She was also charged with attempting to obtain yet another mortgage loan which was unfunded.
Eric Waldon pled guilty to a Superseding Information charging him with making false statements to federal agents investigating the fraudulent loan scheme. The indictment charges further that Linda Abdullah (Linda Holt) knowingly aided and abetted the arson of a rental home (which had been previously obtained with a fraudulent mortgage), located on Sussex Street in Detroit, on March 14, 2007.
The indictment also charged that from June of 2008 through August of 2009, five defendants were part of a drug organization that shipped marijuana from Arizona to the Detroit area, typically using United States Postal Service Express Mail Parcels weighing 10 to 20 pounds.
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At least 60 such parcels were shipped, using a system of falsified business names and return addresses to disguise the true sender and receiver of the parcels. During the same time period, proceeds of the illegal drug and fraud activity, exceeding $400,000, were deposited in Detroit-area bank accounts. The money was then withdrawn at the corresponding branch bank in the Phoenix, Arizona area, in order to pay for the marijuana being purchased by the organization.
The money laundering was conducted in cash deposits and withdrawals of less than $10,000, so as not to require the filing of currency transaction reports with the Internal Revenue Service. The indictment alleges that the profits from the mortgage fraud scheme were used to promote the drug trafficking enterprise. In their guilty pleas, Linda Abdullah (Linda Holt), Rolando Hampton, Andrew Holt, Jacqueline Holt and Felician Hairston admitted their respective roles in the shipment of marijuana from Arizona to the Detroit area.
Based on their criminal history, if any, and the federal sentencing guidelines, the defendants face a range of possible sentences. Linda Abdullah (Linda Holt), faces a mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment both arson and a marijuana conspiracy of 100 kilograms or more. Rolando Hampton faces a mandatory minimum term of five years’ imprisonment for a marijuana conspiracy of 100 kilograms or more.
Linda Abdullah (Linda Holt), remains in custody pending sentencing. All other defendants have been released on bond.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Robert L. Corso stated, “This investigation should send a clear message to drug traffickers that no matter how elaborate the scheme, or how diverse the crime, DEA stands ready to work with our federal, state and local partners to halt the illegal trafficking of drugs.”
Joseph Pirone, Postal Inspector in Charge of the Detroit Division stated, “This investigation was an excellent example of a partnership between local, state and federal law enforcement agencies working together to bring down a drug and fraud conspiracy. I fully commend the hard work and countless hours put forth by all of the law enforcement agencies involved, which resulted in bringing the defendants in this case to justice.”
“This extensive criminal conspiracy was disrupted because of the outstanding collaboration between various law enforcement agencies,” McQuade said. “It is not often that you see a case like this one, involving such different kinds of crimes, but thanks to the cooperation and information sharing between these agencies, these defendants have been brought to justice” – Source.
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