David W. Griffin, 44, Lutz, Florida, pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud and one count of making a false statement under oath during a bankruptcy proceeding in connection with a foreclosure rescue scheme. Griffin faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison for each charge. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
According to court documents, Griffin operated a foreclosure rescue scheme through his companies, Bay2Bay Area Holding, LLC and Business Development Consultants, LLC. The purpose of the scheme was to obtain quitclaim or warranty deeds from distressed homeowners facing foreclosure in return for false promises to rescue their homes from foreclosure by negotiating with creditors, renting the property back to the homeowner to obtain rental income, and falsely promising that the homeowner could repurchase the property from Griffin. To maximize his rental income, Griffin also prevented creditors and guarantors, including the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Housing Administration, from pursuing lawful foreclosure and eviction actions against homeowners who had defaulted on their mortgages. This was accomplished by filing, or causing to be filed, fraudulent bankruptcies in the names of the homeowners without their knowledge or consent.
Griffin also admitted that he had lied under oath in sworn testimony before the Office of the United States Trustee. Under penalty of perjury, Griffin stated that he had no knowledge of a bankruptcy petition filed in the name of his company, Bay2Bay Area Holding Group, when in fact, he had prepared the petition and had directed an individual to sign his name and file the petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Griffin has agreed to make full restitution to the Clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The estimated losses resulting from Griffin’s conduct are approximately $25,125.00.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General. The Office of the U.S. Trustee in Tampa also provided substantial assistance. It is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.