David C. Christian, 62, Catonsville, Maryland, real estate appraiser, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to his guilty plea, Christian appraised a number of properties on behalf of purchasers who were seeking financing through a mortgage brokerage company operating out of an office in Baltimore, Maryland. From April 2004 to April 2008, at the request of a co-conspirator who controlled the mortgage brokerage company, Christian prepared at least 17 fraudulent appraisals for $4,306,950 in loans originated at the mortgage company. Christian falsified the appraisals by using fake photos and descriptions of the properties, misrepresenting the condition of the properties, and used inappropriate comparable properties. The total loss for the 17 loans amounted to $2,661,366.
In March and June 2007, Christian used his co-conspirator as the mortgage broker to refinance property that he and his wife owned in Catonsville, Maryland. Christian submitted false appraisals that inflated the property value and caused another appraiser to sign the documents to avoid the obvious conflict of performing an appraisal on his own property. With Christian’s knowledge, his co-conspirator processed the loan in Christian’s wife’s name, falsifying her income and employment, as well as the balance in the couple’s bank account and misrepresented other information. The loans were funded by another mortgage company, and Christian and his wife eventually defaulted on the loan, resulting in a loss of nearly $140,000.
Christian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar scheduled his sentencing for October 18, 2012, at 1:00 p.m.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Inspector General Steve A. Linick of the Federal Housing Finance Agency; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R. Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Bockin and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Learned, assigned from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General, who are prosecuting the case.