Shane Burreson, 38, Orland, California, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia for his role in a multimillion dollar “builder bailout” mortgage fraud scheme.
According to court documents, between September 2006 and April 2007, Burreson was president of Nor Cal Innovative Investments Inc. (NCII), a company controlled by co-defendant Garret Griffith Gililland III, Chico, California. Through NCII, Gililland and Burreson recruited investors, straw buyers, and others to purchase new homes in Chico from homebuilders at artificially inflated prices. After the close of escrow, builders Anthony G. Symmes, William E. Baker, and others, would rebate significant sums back to the buyer or the buyer’s agent. With only a few exceptions, the rebates were entirely concealed from lenders and appraisers. Lenders would finance 100 percent of the inflated purchase price.
In addition to falsifying the sales price, Gililland and employees of NCII, in conjunction with employees at various mortgage brokerages, would falsify loan applications and supporting documents so that buyers of the inflated homes could qualify for homes loans. Many times these loan files would rely on the use of false employment information, such as fictitious employers or, at the least, exaggerated incomes to get the loans to close.
Burreson faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison for mail fraud, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for money laundering is 10 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, and three years of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the guilty plea.
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Russell L. Carlberg is prosecuting the case.