LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, Uni…

LAWFUEL – Press Release Service – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Edward Hillery, Chief, Ocean Ridge Police Department, announced that defendants Edward Garnett, 63, and Shirley Akey, 70, both of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, were sentenced yesterday by United States District Court Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks in Miami, Florida. Akey and Garnett both pled guilty to one (1) count of conspiracy, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §371.

As charged in the Indictment, Garnett fraudulently obtained twelve (12) mortgage loans totaling almost $6 million, using luxury properties in which he lived as collateral. To obtain the mortgage loans, Garnett submitted loan applications containing false financial information in his name and in the names of certain nominees. The false financial information included overstated income, overvalued assets, false employment information, and false tax information. Garnett and Akey also arranged for the nominees to become signatories on Akey’s accounts, so that the nominees would appear to have assets sufficient to qualify for the loans for which they were applying. Through this scheme, Garnett received more than $1.4 million from these loans, much of which was shared with his longtime friend, Akey. Akey also concealed the monies for Garnett and laundered the money through her bank accounts.

According to the Indictment, Garnett filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and fraudulently concealed his interest in certain properties located in Delray Beach, Florida, from the Bankruptcy Court, creditors, and the United States Trustee. Garnett also failed to disclose a $272,000 unrecorded Mortgage Note related to the properties in the same bankruptcy, and again when he filed for bankruptcy in April, 2005.

Garnett, who has been incarcerated since his arrest on September 13, 2005, was sentenced to sixty (60) months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three (3) years’ of supervised release, which was the statutory maximum sentence on the count of conviction. In addition, he was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,004,403.22. Akey, who cooperated with the government’s investigation, was sentenced to one year and one day imprisonment, three (3) years of supervised release, and restitution in the amount of $1,004,403.22.

Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and

the Ocean Ridge Police Department. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Carolyn Bell.

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 www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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