Kristina Marie Cardwell, 39, Virginia Beach, Virginia, a former attorney, has been sentenced to 66 months in prison for her participation in a mortgage fraud scheme, federal authorities. She was also sentenced to serve a three-year period of supervised release after her incarceration and to pay $708,339.60 in restitution. Cardwell pled guilty to committing wire fraud on Dec. 4, 2008, and was sentenced by United States District Judge Raymond A. Jackson. On April 14, 2009, Cardwell consented to revocation of her license to practice law.
According to court documents, Cardwell was employed by law firms associated with co-defendant Troy Aurelius Titus for almost ten years. In a statement of facts filed with her plea agreement, Cardwell admitted that between May and October 2005 she purchased three residential properties in Virginia Beach from entities associated with Titus. She purchased the properties in her own name and received mortgages on the properties in her own name, although both she and Titus intended for Titus to retain control over the properties and sell them to third parties at a later time. The funds taken from Cardwell’s purchases were used to cover some of Titus’s financial obligations. Cardwell admitted that while applying for the mortgages, she made false statements about her income, assets and financial liabilities. During the application process, thousands of dollars were moved into Cardwell’s bank account to inflate her account balance then moved out of the account. In one instance, Cardwell authored a letter to a lender falsely claiming that she had received a $91,000 disbursement of funds from her firm.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Corporation Commission with assistance from the Virginia State Bar and the Virginia Attorney General’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael C. Moore and Melissa E. O’Boyle are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.