Matthew Bevan Cox, 37, pled guilty to mortgage fraud, identity theft, passport fraud, and probation violation charges arising from a Northern District of Georgia indictment, criminal informations filed by the Middle Districts of Florida and Tennessee, and a Middle District of Florida revocation petition.
“Cox was the subject of a three-year nationwide manhunt while he continued to commit mortgage fraud under stolen identities in multiple states, leaving a trail of victims and missing money,” said United States Attorney David E. Nahmias in Atlanta. “The repeated use by Cox of the stolen identities of minor children, the homeless and others to place multiple fraudulent loans on the same property without the knowledge or consent of the true owners has resulted in clouded property titles in several states and years of unresolved litigation. He will now face the long prison sentence he deserves for his crimes.”
According to the information presented in court: Cox rented or agreed to purchase properties from true owners, fraudulently erased prior mortgage liens and assumed the identity of the owners, used a stolen identity or paid straw borrowers to obtain multiple mortgage loans on the same property. Cox then changed locations and committed similar mortgage fraud schemes in other states. Cox and his co-conspirators used stolen identities to execute the mortgage fraud, including identities of minor children and those he received from conducting “Federal Surveys” of the homeless and drug rehab patients. Cox also used these stolen identities to obtain drivers licenses and state identification cards, purchase vehicles, lease mail drops and virtual offices, rent apartments, obtain credit cards, open bank accounts, and to apply for birth certificates and a passport used for travel to Jamaica, Greece and other foreign destinations while a federal fugitive.
Cox was indicted in Atlanta in September 2005, on 42 counts of mortgage fraud in violation of the bank and wire fraud statutes, identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy. The Middle Districts of Tennessee and Florida filed criminal informations earlier this month charging conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, aggravated identity theft and passport fraud. Cox pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and passport fraud.
Cox first became a federal fugitive when he was charged with probation violations in December 2003, arising from his February 2002 mortgage fraud conviction in Tampa, Florida. An arrest warrant was also issued for Cox in Atlanta, Georgia when he was charged with mortgage fraud by criminal complaint in July 2004. Following a well-publicized nationwide manhunt, Cox was arrested by the United States Secret Service in Nashville, Tennessee in November 2006.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 22, 2007. Cox could receive a maximum sentence of 54 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000,000.