Chalana McFarland, 35, disbarred attorney, Stone Mountain, Georgia (the McFarland Law Firm) was convicted by a federal jury of 169 counts of wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, identity theft and using false Social Security numbers.
McFarland was accused of operating a flipping scheme. Omar Rashad Turral, a former Florida A&M pharmacy student would steal the identities of his classmates and then sell them to McFarland through a loan processor in her office building (Turral previously plead guilty.) McFarland would use the stolen identities (or use straw borrowers) to purchase homes, primarily in Lithonia and Stone Mountain, Georgia subdivisions and simultaneouly flip them to purchasers at inflated prices. She would use the proceeds of the property sale to fund the property purchase. The scheme involved over 100 houses worth over $20M.
After the conviction, Assistant U.S. Attorney Gail McKenzie moved to revoke McFarland‘s bond, noting that she continued to commit mortgage fraud in Florida after her law license was suspended. The judge revoked McFarland‘s bond and jailed her immediately, finding that she was a flight risk.
McFarland is scheduled to be sentenced on May 3, 2005
Other defendants in the original criminal case were:
Brenda G. Brown (paralegal at McFarland Law Firm)
Lisa R. Bellamy (paralegal at McFarland Law Firm)
Judith H. “Judy” Hooper aka Jerry Dale Hunter (former mortgage broker)
Melvin Howard Quillen (borrower/recruiter)
Thomas Christopher Davis, Sr. (appraiser)
Brandon G. Wilhite (appraiser)
James Frederick Pettigrew
Kenneth “Kenny” Earl Collins
Melinda Renee Tyner (loan originator)
Jewel Williams (real estate agent)
Sidney Williams (real estate agent)