LawFuel.com – Legal Newswire
DENVER – Stafford A. Hilaire, age 59, of Aurora, Colorado, was sentenced on April 16, 2010, by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve 32 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the United States and conspiracy to commit money laundering, U.S. Attorney David Gaouette, IRS Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Christopher Sigerson, and Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Inspector General Kenneth Donohue announced. Following the prison term, Hilaire was ordered to spend 2 years on supervised release. Judge Krieger also ordered Hilaire to pay restitution totaling $397,237.63 and pay a $200 special assessment to a victims of crime fund. Judge Krieger ordered Hilaire to report to a Bureau of Prisons facility within 15 days of designation. With Hilaire’s sentencing, thirty-five defendants, including real estate agents, mortgage brokers, and buyers have been prosecuted for a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
Stafford Hilaire was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on February 17, 2005, followed by a superseding indictment on April 20, 2005. He was found guilty following a jury trial on December 1, 2006. On March 6, 2007, Judge Krieger acquitted Hilaire of all charges, however, on July 22, 2008, the United States 10th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the acquittal, re-instating the jury’s guilty verdicts.
According to the indictments, as well as evidence presented during the trial, Stafford Hilaire was a loan officer as well as the President of Catalina Century Mortgage, a Colorado company. Starting in February 1999, and continuing through July 2004, Hilaire conspired with others to defraud the United States. As part of the scheme, he falsified information in loan applications and supporting documentation submitted to mortgage companies and to FHA/HUD for the purpose of obtaining mortgage loans and FHA/HUD mortgage insurance.
Hilaire and other co-defendants working with him would illegally assist buyers who could not qualify for an FHA-insured mortgage legitimately by falsifying the borrowers’ social security numbers, verifications of employment, and prepare and submit false income information, including false W2’s (wage and tax statements), pay stubs, and other false documents. Hilaire and others would take the false information about the borrowers and then submit it to the mortgage companies, and thereafter forwarded everything to FHA/HUD, for the purpose of falsely representing that the borrowers were financially qualified to undertake their mortgage obligations.
The sentencing of Hilaire brings to a close a large scale long running investigation and prosecution of a complex financial crime. Thirty-five defendants were prosecuted. Of those charged, 31 were adjudicated guilty to crimes and were sentenced. Five of the 31 were convicted in two jury trials. Of those sentenced, seven received prison time, and 23 received probation, who were mostly fraudulent home buyers. The cases against three were dismissed, one defendant received only a fine, and one defendant was acquitted at trial. This was one of the largest multi-defendant mortgage fraud cases prosecuted in the District of Colorado. It took four prosecutors six years and multiple appeals to resolve. Some appeals remain pending.
“Mortgage fraud is a top priority of the Department of Justice, ” said U.S. Attorney David M. Gaouette. “I want to specifically thank the federal prosecutors who have spent the last 6 years working tirelessly on this large and complex case, as well as the agents who helped investigate the case and participate in trials.”
“This case is an example of how the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General for Investigations, working with law enforcement agencies and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country, will pursue individuals who are participating in mortgage fraud schemes, which are eating away at the economic heart of this country,” said Kenneth Donohue, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
“Mortgage fraud drives homeowners into foreclosure, neighborhoods into decay with abandoned and deteriorating properties, leaves lenders burdened with bad loans, and erodes the integrity of our tax system,” said Christopher M. Sigerson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
“I’m proud of the role our agency played in brining to justice this individual that fraudulently used social security numbers belonging to others to perpetrate mortgage fraud,” said Wilbert Craig, Special Agent in Charge of the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General. “I hope that this significant sentence serves as a deterrent to others tempted to engage in similar criminal activity. We are pleased with the aggressive actions by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners that led to this sentence and the conclusion of this massive investigation.
This case was investigated by the HUD Office of the Inspector General and IRS Criminal Investigation, with assistance from the Social Security Administration Office of the Inspector General.
Carnagie was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Davies, Linda McMahan, and Matthew Kirsch. Assistant U.S. Attorney Martha Paluch provided substantial assistance with appellate matters before the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.
United States Attorney’s Office Press Releases are also on the Internet
DISPOSITIONS OF OTHER DEFENDANTS IN THIS CASE
NOTE: Generally, real estate agents and mortgage brokers received some prison time. Most home buyers received probation. Nearly all of the convicted defendants were ordered to pay restitution, with some obligations joint and several with either the real estate agents or mortgage brokers.
Linda Carnagie was sentenced to serve 41 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $206,693.43.
Nina Marie Cameron was sentenced to serve 5 years probation and was ordered to pay restitution totaling $123,595.79.
Leslie Rousseau was sentenced to 3 years probation and a $250 fine and was ordered to pay $19.204.56 in restitution.
Albertico Galindo was sentenced to 3 years probation.
Sonia Ramirez was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $10,192 in restitution.
Sandra Lindsey was sentenced to 1 year probation.
Rosaura Ramirez – the case was dismissed.
Gail Henderson was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $19,209.56 in restitution.
Dwayne Vandyke was sentenced to 12 months in federal prison, followed by 1 year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $30,509.68 in restitution.
Christopher Allen – the case was dismissed.
Denisha Walker was sentenced to 2 years probation and ordered to pay a $250 fine.
David Womely was sentenced to 3 years probation with a special condition for 2 months home detention with electronic monitoring and ordered to pay a $250 fine.
Randal Jones was sentenced to serve 5 years probation and ordered to pay $51,533.19 in restitution.
Sheila Lockett was sentenced to 2 years probation.
Robert Wedgeworth was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay a $250 fine.
Shawn Garette was sentenced to 2 years probation and ordered to pay a $250 fine.
Linda Edwards was sentenced to serve 41 months in federal prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $646,521.87 in restitution.
Ladonna Mullins was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $66,459.33 in restitution.
Trenson L. Byrd – acquitted following a jury trial.
Emmitt Cotton, Sr. was sentenced to a $1,000 fine.
Stafford A. Hilaire was sentenced to serve 32 months in federal prison, followed by 2 years on supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $397,237.63.
Tyrone Tennyson was sentenced to serve 1 year probation.
Robert Wedgeworth was sentenced to serve 3 years probation, ordered to pay a $250 fine, and pay $4,735.50 in restitution.
Daryl Collins was sentenced to 187 days in custody (time served), 113 days of community corrections, and 1 year supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $47,711.41 in restitution, with interest.
Tracie Lockhart was sentenced to serve 15 months in federal prison followed by 3 years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay $57,244.46 in restitution.
Aaron Blathers was sentenced to 5 years probation, and was ordered to pay a $250 fine as well as $354,454.81 in restitution.
Sebastian Scott was sentenced to serve 5 years probation and ordered to pay $39,720.11 in restitution.
Michael Keys was sentenced to serve 3 years probation and ordered to pay $3,909.00 in restitution.
Qunell Jefferson was sentenced to 196 days in prison (time served) as well as 1 year of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $56,985.27 in restitution.
Donna Blacklock was sentenced to serve 5 years probation and ordered to pay $48,631.88 in restitution.
Maurice Poole – the case was dismissed.
Monica Fite was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $76,760.90 in restitution.
Aurelia Walker was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay $55,818.40 in restitution.
Wendy Wilkins was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay $62,324.74 in restitution.
Odie Webster, III was sentenced to 5 years probation and ordered to pay $75,550.92 in restitution.