Joseph Carr, 56, Lansing, Michigan, pled guilty to one count of bank fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Hugh W. Brenneman Jr. admitting that he defrauded Bank of America by recruiting “straw buyers” to apply for a mortgage loan for a home that he himself intended to occupy, and inflated the value of that home in order to increase the amount of the loan. In this manner, he was able to secure a loan of $175,000 for his own use. In his plea agreement, Carr also acknowledged that other related fraudulent activities resulted in losses of $1,147,250.
Bank fraud is punishable by 30 years in prison and other penalties. Carr‘s sentence will be imposed by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff at a date to be announced.
U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis announced the guilty plea.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of the Western District of Michigan’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force. This group was created to investigate and prosecute the growing number of mortgage fraud cases that have recently come to light. U.S. Attorney Davis stated, “Mortgage fraud has played a significant role in the mortgage crisis that has brought so much misery to Michigan citizens. Federal law enforcement will vigorously pursue the perpetrators of these frauds to face the punishment they have earned.”