A Florida man is being held without bond after he was officially charged with federal crimes in connection with mortgage bailout funds. The defendant is accused of committing a variety of white collar crimes, including 33 counts of bribery, money laundering and wire fraud, among others. He awaits trial in a district court in Orlando.
Official reports show that the defendant is accused of using his company, United Credit Recovery, to defraud asset management firms. The man reportedly would purchase overdrawn checking accounts from larger banks. Then, he would use the account information to create fake affidavits showing that the accounts were worth far more than their actual value. He would then sell the accounts to asset management firms at a profit. The alleged fraud is thought to have occurred over a five-year period. During that time, UCR was able to convert $31 million in bad assets into a whopping $76 million in income.
In addition to those violations, the defendant is accused of bribing a U.S. Bank officer. The man reportedly paid the insider for information about debt auctions, allowing the defendant's company to purchase $800 million worth of bad debt for just pennies on the dollar. U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo are both named as victims of the scheme.
Reports show that the defendant could face up to 600 years' prison time if he is convicted of the allegations. Prosecutors in the case say they are pushing for a hefty sentence, and they will also try to force the man to return the millions in luxury assets that he acquired during his tenure at the company. The man reportedly owns several luxury vehicles and multiple residences.
Although the defendant in this case is not accused of violent crimes, white collar crime is still a very serious offense. The man is facing allegations that could land him in prison for decades to come. These defendants who have been targets of a federal investigation should know that they have legal rights, no matter the charges that are levied against them. An arrest and indictment is not an automatic conviction.
Source: NBC News, "Florida Man Charged With $76 Million Scam Targeting Bailout Money" M. Alex Johnson, Jun. 12, 2014