Jean Teresa Hoffert, 59, Emmetsburg, Iowa, a real estate broker who stole mortgage loan proceeds received during real estate closings, pled guilty on July 5, 2011, in federal court in Sioux City. Hoffert was convicted of one count of mail fraud.
At the plea hearing Hoffert admitted defrauding others out of money and causing the United States mail to be used as part of the fraud. According to information disclosed in court, when acting as a settlement agent, Hoffert failed to pay off prior mortgage loans that were supposed to be paid off following mortgage loan refinancings. In other instances, the prior mortgage loans were paid off late.
Sentencing before United States District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett will be set after a presentence report is prepared. Under the plea agreement, Hoffert faces a
sentence of 57 months’ imprisonment. Hoffert also faces a maximum possible fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of money involved in the offense, a special assessment of $100, and up to 3 years of supervised release following imprisonment. Hoffert will also be ordered to pay full restitution to all victims of her related criminal conduct.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Deegan and was investigated by the Spencer, Iowa, Police Department, the Emmetsburg, Iowa, Police Department, the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.