Five defendants were sentenced in January 2015, for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme involving straw buyers, kickbacks and bank bribery. Of the 91 individuals charged in Operation Wax House, eighty-nine defendants have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted following trial. The two remaining defendants are international fugitives.
Joe Spaqi, 60, Cleveland, Ohio, has been indicted and charged with fraudulently obtaining nearly $1 million from the now-closed St. Paul Croatian Federal Credit Union.
Terri Lynn Johnson, 50, Columbia, Missouri, former branch manager of Landchoice Company, LLC, has been sentenced in federal court for a $576,000 mortgage fraud and embezzlement scheme.
Jasper Buck, 59, formerly of Westminster, Maryland, and Lake Mary, Florida, has been indicted and charged with mail fraud arising from an investment fraud scheme wherein he allegedly misrepresented to investors that their funds would be used for hard money lending.
George Christo George, 55, Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced for six to 20 years in prison for defrauding several Northern Nevadans of more than $238,000 through elaborate schemes including a false business partner posing as a wealthy sheikh to lure victims into bogus real estate deals and to investments in a luxury downtown Reno high rise condominium.
Angela M. Blythe, 51, Oakland, Maryland, was indicted on charges of conspiracy, bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank for her alleged role in preparing deeds, mortgages and notes in false identities, then recording those fraudulent documents thereby concealing the true owner of the properties.
Leonard E. Williams, 52, Sacramento, California, was sentenced to over seven years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of money laundering, in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. At sentencing, U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb stated that one factor he used in imposing the sentence was Williams’ outburst in front of the jury during trial.
Jeffrey Charles Leroy Taylor, 40, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, resident was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Kenneth Marra to 36 months in prison, to be followed by two years of supervised release and was ordered to pay $350,470.00 in restitution, for his role in managing a loan modification scheme.
Michael Pitamber Ramdat, 30, Palm Bay, Florida, was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution for a fraud scheme he perpetrated against business owners and others seeking lines of credit around the nation.
Mervyn A. Phelan, Sr., 74, Newport Beach, California, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz to five years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for a wire fraud conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of justice from a $17.4 million investment fraud scheme.