LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney…

LAWFUEL – Legal Newswire – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, William T. Sims, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service, Miami Field Office, Henry Gutierrez, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Donald B. Saxon, Commissioner, Florida Department of Financial Regulation, and Amos Rojas, Special Agent in Charge, Florida Department of Law Enforcement, Miami Regional Operations Center, announced today’s sentencing of defendant Ishmael Grant, 60, of Lauderhill, Florida, one of the lead defendants in a $10,000,000 scheme to defraud mortgage lenders in “Operation Whose House.” United States District Judge William Dimitrouleas sentenced Grant to a term of 120 months’ imprisonment, followed by three (3) years of supervised release, and restitution to various mortgage lenders in the amount of $ 110,655. Grant, who has been in custody, was remanded to the Federal Bureau of Prisons to begin serving his sentence.

Grant was convicted on April 13, 2007, following a two week trial. He was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, three counts of mail fraud, and three counts of wire fraud.

According to the evidence presented at trial, Grant and others engaged in a scheme to enrich themselves by obtaining mortgages from lenders using straw purchasers and through the submission of false documentation, including false loan applications, false employment verification forms, false salary statements, and false bank account statements reflecting high account balances. The defendants also used and caused others to use false or stolen Florida’s driver’s licenses, identification cards, and social security numbers as their personal identification to facilitate the purchase of properties in the names of individuals whose identification documents had been previously stolen. The evidence showed that the defendants submitted more than 30 fraudulent loans to lenders around the country on properties located in Broward County. Judge Dimitrouleas at the sentencing this morning found Grant a leader in the “extensive criminal enterprise” surrounding the mortgage fraud scheme.

Acosta commended the investigative efforts and trial support of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, the United States Secret Service and the United States Postal Inspection Service. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jeffrey Kay and Jennifer Keene of the Fort Lauderdale Office.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov/ or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov/.

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