Robert J. Demello Jr., 48, formerly of Augusta, Georgia, Raymond W. Turner, 69, Hephizibah, Georgia, and William B. Raulerson, 37, Evans, Georgia, have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of mortgage fraud.
The indictment alleges that from 2003 through 2010, Demello Jr, Turner and Raulerson conspired to defraud Southern Bank, Waynesboro, Georgia, and other financial institutions, of thousands of dollars by submitting false information and fraudulent appraisals relating to mortgage loan applications. The indictment identifies three downtown Augusta, Georgia properties for which Southern Bank provided financing in 2005. Southern Bank ultimately foreclosed on the properties which resulted in significant losses.
United States Attorney Edward J. Tarver said, “Across the country, mortgage fraud has reached epidemic proportions. Submitting false or misleading information in support of loan applications or engaging in any other kind of mortgage fraud violates federal law. The United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners will use every tool at our disposal to identify and prosecute these crimes.”
A date for the Defendants’ initial appearance and arraignment in federal court has not been scheduled. Mr. Tarver emphasized that an indictment is only an accusation and is not evidence of guilt. The Defendants are entitled to a fair trial, during which it will be the Government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case was investigated by FBI Special Agents Jason Gustin, Rebecca Harrison and Charles McKee. Assistant United States Attorney Stephen T. Inman is prosecuting the case. For additional information, please contact First Assistant United States Attorney James D. Durham.