Broker Gets 4 Years Behind Bars for Stealing Closing Funds

Allison Tussey —  April 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Jean Teresa Hoffert, 60, Emmetsburg, Iowa, a real estate broker who stole mortgage loan proceeds received during real estate closings, was sentenced on April 25, 2012, to serve more than four years in federal prison.

The defendant received the prison term after a July 5, 2011, guilty plea to one count of mail fraud.

As previoulsy reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Hoffert admitted defrauding others out of money and causing the United States mail to be used as part of the fraud. According to information disclosed in court, when acting as a settlement agent, Hoffert failed to pay off prior mortgage loans that were supposed to be paid off following mortgage loan refinancings. In other instances, the prior mortgage loans were paid off late. Hoffert caused over $400,000 in loss to more than 10 different victims as a result of her offense.

Hoffert was sentenced in Sioux City by United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett. Hoffert was sentenced to 57 months’ imprisonment. A special assessment of $100 was imposed, and she was ordered to make $324,088.05 in restitution to the individuals and banks that suffered economic harm. She must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.

Hoffert was released on the bond previously set and is to surrender to the Bureau of Prisons on a date yet to be set.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Deegan and was investigated by the Spencer, Iowa, Police Department, the Emmetsburg, Iowa, Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Allison Tussey

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