Robert C. Sasser, 31, West Columbia, South Carolina, pled guilty in federal court in Columbia, to Wire Fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1343. United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour accepted the plea and will impose a sentence in approximately ninety days.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Sasser was a real estate agent and mortgage broker. He was involved in eight real estate transactions financed by Wachovia for approximately $2.5 million. The loans were collateralized by homes that were significantly overvalued.
The loan documents contained multiple misrepresentations, including (1) grossly overstated or fabricated income and asset information, (2) forged signatures, (3) down payments paid by Sasser rather than by the purchaser, and (4) loan payments paid on behalf of, instead of by, the actual purchasers. Significantly, this caused loans to be approved in the names of individuals who could not afford them, which caused them all to go into foreclosure.
The amount of loss suffered by the lender in this case is approximately $1,689,053.97.
United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced the guilty plea.
Mr. Nettles stated the maximum penalty Sasser can receive is a fine of $250,000 and/or imprisonment for 20 years, plus a special assessment of $100.
The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Winston D. Holliday, Jr., of the Columbia office handled the case.