Straw Buyer Scheme Nets 2 Years in Prison
John Wicker, St. Louis, Missouri, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme involving a residence in South St. Louis, Missouri. Wicker was indicted on October 27, 2011.
Wicker admitted with his plea in December 2011 to "refinancing" his personal residence by orchestrating a fraudulent sale to an associate of his in 2009. Wicker promised the buyer that he would buy the house on paper only and that Wicker would make the payments and continue to reside in the house.
As a result of the fraudulent sale, Wicker was able to pay off his delinquent mortgage and pull a sizable amount of cash out of the property. Contrary to his promises to the straw buyer, Wicker failed to make the payments and failed to pay the straw buyer the $10,000 he had promised him for using his name. Ultimately, the mortgage fell into delinquency and the house went into foreclosure. All the while, Wicker and his family had been able to remain in their home rent free.
Wicker admitted to making a false statement to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with his December 2011 plea. He appeared for sentencing before United States District Judge Carol E. Jackson.
The United States Attorney's Office announced the sentence.
This case was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for HUD and the St. Louis Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus handled the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.
source: Mortgage Fraud Blog