MULTI-STATE MORTGAGE FRAUDSTER SENTENCED TO 10 YEARS IN PRISON
PENSACOLA, FLORIDA – Lonett Rochell Williams, 47, Woodland Hills, California, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and six substantive counts of mail fraud.
In October of last year, Williams pled guilty to an eight-count indictment alleging that she participated in a conspiracy to defraud multiple lenders as part of a scheme to fraudulently purchase thirty-seven properties located in Texas, Georgia, and California, and in Navarre, Panama City Beach, and Sarasota, Florida. Approximately $20,448,767 in loans were issued by the lenders in connection with the real estate deals. Williams and her company received more than $4.5 million in kickbacks as a result of the scheme.
In September 2011, Williams’ son, Raysean K. Richardson, 28, New York, New York, was separately indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering based on his role in the scheme. Richardson was convicted as charged following a jury trial held before Chief United States District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in September 2012. He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 19, 2013, by Judge Rodgers. Richardson faces up to twenty years in prison on each of the three counts of conviction.
Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, praised the work of IRS-Criminal Investigations, the FBI and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, whose joint investigation led to the convictions in these cases.
“Mortgage fraud, like all financial crimes, adds to the underground economy, erodes the integrity of our tax system and threatens the financial health of our communities as has been witnessed over the past several years” stated Special Agent in Charge James Robnett of the IRS Criminal Investigation Tampa Field Office. “Our agency, in cooperation with other federal and state law enforcement partners, target the offenders of mortgage fraud in our attempt to stem the tide of criminal activities that lay waste to the underpinnings of our financial system and this sentence should serve as a deterrent to those thinking about committing the same crimes.”
United States Attorney Marsh noted that prosecution is a continuation of this office’s vigorous efforts to combat mortgage fraud as part of Operation Stolen Dreams, a nationwide sweep that targeted mortgage fraud throughout the country. The largest collective enforcement effort ever brought to bear in confronting mortgage fraud, Operation Stolen Dreams was organized by the Mortgage Fraud Working Group of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.
Thursday, January 24, 2013