A 42-year-old home inspector from Spring Hill, Florida, was sentenced to 97 months in prison this week. The sentence was the result of a guilty plea entered by the man in September 2012 to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Following the prison sentence, he will serve three years on supervised release. In addition, he was ordered to pay nearly $12.8 million in restitution. The sentence sprung from activities performed by the man’s home inspection company from 2007 to 2012.
The man operated a company known as American Mortgage Field Services. According to the charges against him, he fabricated inspection reports on government-owned or insured properties. The company claimed to have inspected many more homes than it had the ability to inspect, eventually drawing the attention of housing fraud investigators. Among the homes that were not properly inspected were many that were owned by government-sponsored entities Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as others owned by the Federal Housing Administration.
Bank of American paid nearly $19 million in fees for inspections from 2007 to 2009. It alleged that many of those inspections were not actually performed. United States government losses sustained because of the fabricated reports were estimated at more than $12 million. In addition to the restitution ordered by the court, the man was also ordered to relinquish ownership of two real estate properties and three pieces of jewelry.
Source: Hernando Today, “Fraudulent inspector gets 97 months,” by Wendy Joan Biddlecombe, 22 February 2013