Lawyer Jailed for Transferring Title to Real Estate Then Using it as Collateral for Another Loan

Allison Tussey —  August 5, 2013 — Leave a comment

Michael E. Earwood, 61, Madison, Mississippi, an attorney, was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 46 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for bankruptcy fraud.

Earwood was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $792,228.53.

Earwood previously pled guilty to devising and executing a scheme to obtain money from a business partner by falsely representing that the money would be used to maintain real property owned by Kinwood Capitol Group. He admitted transferring title to the real property assets of the business without the knowledge and consent of his business partner, who held a majority interest in the assets of the business.

Earwood admitted that he transferred these assets to his own company named Northlake Development. He then used that property as collateral for bank loans to Northlake Development but still continued to solicit money from the business partner for a period of time. Earwood admitted that when the bank attempted to foreclose on the Northlake Development loan, he placed Northlake Development into bankruptcy and continued to conceal the unauthorized transactions from his business partner and the banks from which he had obtained loans.

U.S. Attorney Gregory K. Davis, Acting U.S. Trustee Henry G. Hobbs, Jr. of Region 5, FBI Special Agent in Charge Daniel McMullen, and Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the FDIC, announced the sentence.

This case was prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Harold Brittain, Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla J. Clark, and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammye S. Tharp. The investigation was conducted by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, assisted by the Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, Region 5.

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Allison Tussey

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