Title Company Owner Sentenced to 12 Months for Mail Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2012|
BIRMINGHAM—A federal judge on Monday sentenced the owner of a Birmingham property title company to 12 months and a day in prison for mail fraud in connection to a mortgage fraud scheme in which property ownership records were falsified in order to obtain mortgage loans, announced U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, FBI Special Agent In Charge Patrick J. Maley, and Housing and Urban Development Inspector General David Montoya.
U.S. District Judge Inge P. Johnson sentenced JERRY EUGENE PARKER, owner of Central Alabama Title, on two mail fraud counts and ordered him to pay $12,150 in restitution to International Mortgage Corporation and Taylor, Bean & Whitaker. Parker, 61, of Hoover, pleaded guilty in June 2010 to the fraud charges that arose from his involvement in a larger mortgage fraud scheme.
“Title companies are in a position to stop fraud. They are supposed to protect lenders and property owners by making sure that the person seeking a loan on a property is the rightful owner,” Vance said. “Parker not only allowed fraud to go unchecked, he assisted in carrying it out. He violated the core of his position of trust,” she said. “Financial fraud is a priority of this Justice Department. It will be prosecuted.”
According to court documents, Parker, while owner of Central Alabama Title between January 2005 and July 2007, submitted false title work as part of fraudulent mortgage transactions conducted by Al Carson Rockett, Jr. Parker would alter the title for properties Rockett owned in order to make it appear that the buyers of Rockett’s properties were the real owners. With the falsified title, the buyer would apply for and receive a refinance loan to purchase the property, thereby avoiding higher interest rates and the need to make a down payment. Parker was aware that the buyers did not previously own these properties, but he created the documents necessary to make it appear as though they did to the lending institutions.
As a result of this case, successful prosecutions were brought against Rockett and Scott Eric Perry. Both of these individuals conducted fraudulent mortgage transactions while utilizing Perry’s title company. In both Rockett’s and Perry’s mortgage fraud schemes, fraudulent documents were submitted through Parker’s title company to lending institutions. As a result, of these investigations, more than $2 million in fraud losses have been successfully prosecuted. Rockett pleaded guilty and was sentenced in 2010. Perry recently pleaded guilty to four counts of making false statements on HUD-1 Settlement Statements and is set to be sentenced on May 17.
Special agents of the FBI and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General investigated all of these cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney prosecuted the cases.
This prosecution is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.