Alonzo Jackson Brown III, 45, Fairfield, California, was sentenced to five years and three months in prison for two different schemes to defraud that collectively resulted in losses of more than $2 million.
In addition to the prison sentence, Chief United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. ordered Brown to pay $2.1 million in restitution to the victims of his crime and to serve a three-year term of supervised release following his release from prison.
According to court documents, in the first scheme, Brown, a licensed real estate agent, defrauded financial institutions by purchasing residential property and then “selling” those properties to unwitting straw buyers at greatly inflated prices. In fact, Brown supplied all the money for the down payment on the properties he was selling and also paid the first several mortgage payments before ultimately defaulting on the loans.
The lenders were induced to give the loans in the first place because Brown had prepared loan applications and submitted false documentation that greatly inflated the income and assets of the purported buyer. In this way, Brown was able to strip the inflated equity out of the property and leave the lenders with huge losses. Losses resulting from the five properties identified in the plea agreement amounted to more than $1.5 million.
According to court documents, in the second scheme, Brown posed as an investment advisor and induced a Canadian citizen to give him $1 million (USD) by promising to invest the money in high-yield “trades” that would return $1 million per week for eight consecutive weeks. In fact, such trades do not exist and Brown simply used the money for personal expenses, unauthorized investments in his own name, and lulling payments back to the victim. A few months after receiving the money, Brown ceased all communication with the victim, and pocketed the remaining $635,000.
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the sentence.
This case was the product of an investigation by the FBI and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney R. Steven Lapham prosecuted the case.