The mortgage fraud trial involving Nelson Miller, owner of Freedom Financial Services, resulted in a hung jury. A mistrial was declared on November 19, 2007. The new trial resulted in a conviction on all sixteen counts charged in the indictment. Sentencing is set for July 10, 2008.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Miller withdrew his guilty plea to two misdemeanors and faced trial on sixteen felony counts. The original indictment, handed down by an Arkansas grand jury in December of 2004, alleged that Miller and his co-defendants defrauded lenders by submitting documents containing misrepresentations including inflated borrower income, inflated appraisals and title commitments with missing liens. They are alleged to have originated at least 84 fraudulent loans between January 2000 and March 2002 with a total value of more than $3.5 million.
Miller pled guilty in August 2006 to two misdemeanor counts of causing false statements to be submitted to HUD. Prior to sentencing, Miller’s counsel submitted to the Court a document entitled ‘Sentencing Memorandum’ that, according to papers later filed by the government, alleged that that the Government had “slipped one in” on him with respect to certain stipulations as to sentencing that were contained within the plea agreement and therefore sought to influence the determination of the Court as to the appropriate sentence. The government requested that the Court either nullify the Plea Agreement, reinstate the Indictment and set the matter for trial or allow Miller to withdraw his sentencing memorandum and proceed to sentencing in conformity with the terms of the Plea Agreement. Miller thereafter requested that the Court allow him to withdraw his plea of guilty.
The Court allowed Miller to withdraw his guilty plea and set the matter for trial on May 7, 2007. Miller will be tried on all 16 felony counts of the original indictment – one count of conspiracy and 15 counts of wire fraud.
The status of the other defendants involved in the case is as follows:
Nicole Jones, 31, Hot Springs Village, AR – Pled guilty on March 22, 05. Sentenced to 1 day in prison and 6 months home detention followed by 5 years supervised release and ordered to pay $146,673.30 in restitution.
David Fleming, 45, Cordova, TN – Pled guilty on March 29, 05. Sentenced to 2 years probation and ordered to pay $11,965.50 in restitution.
Robert Byrd, 55, Gautier, MS – Pled guilty on April 6, 05. Sentenced to 1 day in prison and 6 months home detention followed by 3 years supervised release and ordered to pay $21,491.50 in restitution.
Arlene Ladd, 46, Mabelvale, AR – Pled guilty on March 31, 05. Sentenced to 5 years probation and restitution of $354,425.50.
Mike Dorsey, Metairie, LA – Pled guilty on July 25, 06. Sentencing has been continued.
Melissa Horner – Pled guilty on July 14, 06. Sentencing has been continued.
Katrina Soukkaseum, 43, Fort Smith, AR – Pled guilty on May 5, 05. Sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $15,734.71.
Freedom Financial – Pled guilty on August 24, 06. Sentencing has been continued.
Bertram Case “Casey” Miller, 40, Little Rock, AR – Pled guilty on September 1, 06. Sentencing has been continued.