John Wayne Perry, Jr., 33, Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty on Monday, December 1, 2014, for his role as a promoter in a $75 million mortgage fraud racketeering conspiracy.
This conviction is the latest in Operation Wax House, an investigation which began in 2007 and has netted 91 defendants to date. Eighty-nine defendants charged have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted following a trial. Two remaining defendants are international fugitives.
According to filed court documents and court proceedings, the racketeering enterprise operated from about 2005 until 2012 when the federal indictment was unsealed. Court documents show that the enterprise engaged in an extensive pattern of racketeering activities, which included investment or securities fraud, mortgage fraud in the form of wire fraud and bank fraud, money laundering, and the distribution of marijuana.
Court documents establish that Perry was a promoter in the enterprise’s mortgage fraud operations. In particular, Perry arranged for a straw buyer he had used in other mortgage fraud transactions throughout North Carolina to serve as a straw buyer on a million dollar home in Waxhaw. As part of the fraud, according to court documents, Perry had more than $200,000 in loan proceeds laundered through his business account, falsely representing that the monies were for “brick work” when in truth there was no brick work done, but instead the money was a kickback to Perry and others for their participation in the fraud.
Perry’s plea follows his motion to continue his November 17, 2014 trial. The new trial was reset for December 8, 2014. Perry pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy and was released on bond pending sentencing. The maximum prison term for the racketeering conspiracy charge is 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Perry is one of twenty-five defendants who await sentencing for their roles in this extensive fraud.
The only two remaining defendants in the case are international fugitives:
Ramin Amini, 45, of Tehran, Iran, is charged with racketeering, conspiracy, mortgage fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Role: Leader and promoter in the scheme. Status: International fugitive.
Nazeere Saddig, 41, formerly of Charlotte, is charged with racketeering conspiracy and mortgage fraud. Role: Promoter and buyer. Status: International Fugitive.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced the guilty plea. The United States Attorney’s Office is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).
Operation Wax House in the Western District of North Carolina is being handled by the Charlotte Division of the FBI and the Criminal Division of the IRS for the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, with the assistance of the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Maria K. Vento.