Multiple mortgage scams land man in federal prison

by Ryan Smith18 Feb 2014
A Colorado man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for his role in multiple mortgage fraud schemes.

Roger K. Howard, 51, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. A co-defendant, Oai Quang Luong, had already pleaded guilty and been sentenced to 18 months in prison.

Prosecutors say that between 2006 and 2007, Howard was running three “similar but separate” mortgage fraud schemes. The first involved the sale of 26 townhomes in a development called Oliveglen Villas in Aurora, Colo. The second and third involved the sale of houses in Castle Rock, Colo., and Denver, Colo., respectively.

In the first scheme, Howard arranged for 17 “investors” to purchase townhomes in Oliveglen Villas. To obtain mortgages for the buyers, Howard submitted applications rife with fraudulent information. Prosecutors say that in many cases the applications overstated the borrowers’ incomes, sometimes more than doubling the actual amounts. Howard also overstated borrowers’ assets, confounding attempts at asset verification by temporary infusions of cash into borrowers’ bank accounts.

Eventually, all of the homes went into foreclosure. Twenty lenders were victimized in the three scams, suffering a total loss of $8.9 million, prosecutors say.

Howard must serve three years of supervised release after his prison term is up. In addition, he has been ordered to pay $8.9 million in restitution.
 

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