Gregory Wayne Eagle, 62, Cape Coral, Florida, pleaded guilty to four counts of bank fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of wire fraud. Eagle faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison on each of the six counts, and a fine of up to $1 million. He will also be ordered to pay restitution to his victims.
According to the criminal information and plea agreement, Eagle was president and director of Eagle Realty of Southwest Florida, Inc. In June 1990, Eagle created a Trust Agreement for approximately 101 acres of unimproved land in Cape Coral. A portion of this land bordered on Pine Island Road. Eagle was the trustee of this Pine Island 101 Land Trust and was also one of the beneficiaries. There was a total of 52 named combined interest holders or beneficiaries of the land trust. Eagle mortgaged the trust property without the knowledge of the other beneficiaries. He did so by submitting fraudulently altered trust agreements to multiple banks naming him, or an entity which he controlled, as the sole beneficiary.
Eagle also executed a number of loan documents in which he falsely claimed he was the sole beneficiary and that he had authorization to mortgage the property. In the first mortgage loan in 2002, Eagle received $2 million from Florida Community Bank. He paid off that loan in 2006 with a mortgage loan from First National Bank of Pennsylvania. The 2006 loan was for an amount exceeding $17 million. Eagle used most of the proceeds of the second loan for his own personal use, mainly to fund other projects.
Eagle defaulted on the First National Bank of Pennsylvania mortgage loan, causing the bank to initiate foreclosure proceedings in October 2009. The unpaid principal balance is $17.03 million. The beneficiaries to the Pine Island 101 Land Trust have not received compensation for their initial payments as interest holders, yearly mortgage, taxes, insurance, and administrative payments, nor for the increase in the value of the Trust property from the time the Trust was created in June 1990.
United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces the guilty plea.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.