Real Estate Attorney Admits Loan Fraud Scheme

admin —  May 17, 2013 — Leave a comment

Stanley A. Walton, 54, Las Vegas, Nevada, an attorney, has pleaded guilty to a charge brought against him in February 2011 that he participated in a scheme to obtain mortgage loans from financial institutions using straw buyers and false loan applications.

Walton pleaded guilty on Wed., May 15, 2013, to one count of conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud, and is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan on Aug. 20, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. Walton faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and has agreed to the forfeiture of $750,000 in money or property in addition to restitution.

According to the guilty plea memorandum, from about Sept. 22, 2004, through July 24, 2007, Walton conspired with others to fraudulently obtain residential mortgages in order to obtain proceeds from the mortgages for their personal use. Walton recruited straw buyers to purchase homes, while Walton intended to control the ownership interests of the homes, obtain proceeds from the mortgage loans for his own use, and later resell the house for a profit. Walton advised the straw buyers that he would use their names and credit to purchase the homes, and would split the profits with them when the homes were re-sold.

Walton held himself out to the straw buyers as an attorney with knowledge and skill in these types of transactions, and intentionally did not disclose this plan or activity to the financial institution lenders. Walton made false statements in and caused co-schemers to make false statements in the straw buyers’ loan applications and supporting documents concerning the straw buyers’ income, assets, intent to occupy the homes, and other information. Walton also directed straw buyers to take steps to make it appear they intended to occupy the homes, such as placing utilities in their names. Walton caused loan proceeds to be paid to him by falsely claiming them as attorney’s fees, fraudulently diverting them through real estate agents, and fraudulently having payments made to his company, knowing that this information would be concealed from the lenders.

Walton and the co-schemers fraudulently purchased six homes in Henderson and three homes in Las Vegas. Walton admitted in his plea agreement that the loss caused by his criminal conduct was approximately $3.6 million.

Pamela Black, 65, a mortgage loan officer, also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud, and was sentenced on July 26, 2012, to time served, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay approximately $1.2 million in restitution.

Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada, announced the guilty plea.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel R. Schiess and Kathryn C. Newman.

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