Glenn Watkins, 31; Kevin Watkins, 26; and Frederick Davis, 41, all of Elk Grove, California, pleaded guilty today to mail fraud for a mortgage fraud scheme.
According to court documents, co-defendant Jake Weathers, 35, Elk Grove, California, orchestrated a scheme where the defendants changed their names to Muslim-sounding names in order to obtain new credit and to conceal poor credit histories and other liabilities.
For instance, Glenn Watkins legally changed his name to “Rasheed Khaleb“ to fraudulently purchase two homes. Once those homes fell into foreclosure, he legally changed his name to “Jason Johnson.” Likewise, Kevin Watkins changed his name to “Jamal Ali,” then to “Calvin Carter.” Their uncle, Frederick Davis, changed his name to “Ammar Rashad,” to purchase a home, then to “Corey Green“ once that home fell into foreclosure.
According to the plea agreements, the defendants admitted that their income and employment histories were falsified on loan applications.
Sentencing is scheduled for January 26, 2012 before United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. The defendants face a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for each count and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
Two defendants remain in the case: Weathers and Paul Yearby Jr., 31, Fair Oaks, California, who is alleged to have legally changed his name to “Malcom Ali“ in order to execute the fraud scheme. The charges against them are only allegations and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the guilty pleas.
“The pleas today reflect continued progress in our fight against the mortgage fraud crisis sweeping our valley and nation,” said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.
This case is the product of an extensive investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Russell L. Carlberg is prosecuting the case.