James Thomas Webb, 51, has been charged in a 50 count indictment which includes Conspiracy to Commit Bank and Wire Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349; 10 counts of Bank Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1344 and 2; 3 counts of Wire Fraud and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343 and 2; and 36 counts of Making False Statements to Influence Banks on Loans and Aiding and Abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1014 and 2.
Webb was arrested by federal agents on September 13, 2012 in Miami, Florida.
The Indictment charges that between 2002 and 2006, Webb operated various real estate companies, including Alpine Properties, LLC and Webb Builders, LLC for a profit. Webb promised investors in multiple states quick, large, and safe financial gains by investing money with him. Webb promised investors that he would use their money to purchase, renovate, and resell properties to first-time home buyers in various states, including North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee. Webb caused investors to take out loans on properties that he and his companies had allegedly renovated.
The indictment further alleges that despite alleged philanthropic and humanitarian objectives, that Webb carried out a fraud upon both the investors who gave cash to Webb, and the banks and lenders who Webb caused to disburse loan proceeds. According to the indictment, Webb conspired with former attorney, Amy Robinson, to falsify closing statements associated with the loan transactions. It is alleged that the closing statements falsified various facts, including the amount of money paid to Webb on the transactions.
Webb is also alleged to have conspired with a former appraiser, Larry Max McDaniel, and his associate, Jackie Gale Weaver, to falsify appraisal reports that were given to banks and lenders in connection with investor loans. The appraisal reports are alleged to have falsely stated that McDaniel had physically viewed the properties, when in fact he had not. The indictment also alleges that the properties sold to investors and financed by banks were not always completed or in the condition represented in the appraisal reports.
During the course of the alleged scheme, the indictment charges that Webb lived lavishly, residing in a multi-million dollar mansion, driving expensive vehicles including a Bentley, traveling extensively, and otherwise paying himself handsomely. Webb is alleged to have abruptly left North Carolina for Florida in 2004, where he continued to market his services under new company names.
According to the indictment, based upon Webb‘s statements and representations to investors, various individuals collectively invested millions of dollars with Webb and his companies. Additionally, banks and lenders are alleged to have disbursed millions of dollars in loans, leaving investors holding millions in debt. The indictment alleges that Webb left various neighborhoods in North Carolina and Virginia blighted with boarded up and dilapidated homes, many of which were ultimately demolished as uninhabitable.
Larry Max McDaniel, 69, pleaded guilty in federal court on June 11, 2012 to Making False Statements to Federally Insured Financial Institutions, and Aiding and Abetting. Jackie Gale Weaver pleaded guilty in federal court on September 21, 2011 to Conspiracy to Make False Statements to Federally Insured Financial Institutions. Amy Robinson, 35, pleaded guilty in federal court on May 3, 2010 to conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud.
An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
The United States Attorney’s Office announced the charges.
Investigation of this case is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Inspector General.
Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore is prosecuting the case.