John Turner Jr., 52, a licensed real estate agent, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for bank fraud and engaging in monetary transactions with criminally derived property stemming from a mortgage fraud investigation. Turner was also ordered to pay a fine in the amount of $2,000 and serve three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison term.
According to the plea agreement and statements by the prosecutor in court, Turner arranged for a straw borrower to purchase the residence located on the 1600 block of Cherry Ridge Drive in Houston, Texas. Turner amended the purchase contract, instructing the title company to disburse $62,000 of the loan proceeds to a remodeling company of the buyer’s choice, ostensibly for repairs and upgrades to be made at the residence.
First National Bank of Arizona funded the $213,377 mortgage loan Nov. 17, 2006. At closing, Turner submitted a $62,000 false invoice in the name of First Class Construction Inc., for repairs and remodeling. The title company and First National Bank of Arizona were unaware that First Class Construction, Inc., was owned by Turner nor that the repairs and remodeling had not been done and would never be done.
Turner took the check to the Money Stop, a check cashing business located on Bissonnet in Houston where he cashed the check, receiving fifty-one $1,000 money orders, a money order in the amount of $365 and $9,992 in cash.
The mortgage fraud investigation was conducted by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James R. Buchanan