Jeffrey Morriss, 48, Kansas City, Missouri, a special agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), pleaded guilty in federal court to making false statements to FBI agents in regard to a more than $800,000 mortgage fraud scheme.
The defendant pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the charge contained in a Feb. 5, 2013, federal indictment. Morriss was employed as a special agent for ICE HSI since 1997.
Morriss submitted four separate home loan applications for three houses between August 10, 2007, and March 6, 2012. Morriss admitted that he made at least 12 material misrepresentations and omissions to obtain $811,917 in home loans. Morriss failed to make full payments on these loans, resulting in three defaults and foreclosures.
Morriss admitted that, on each loan application, he omitted the full amount of his debt, and on other occasions he provided other inaccurate and false information, which improved his debt-to-income ratio and assisted him to qualify for the loans. Morriss did not disclose debt for property he purchased in Colorado, did not disclose monthly child support liability and did not disclose that his property in Pleasant Hill, Mo., had been foreclosed. On a $161,150 loan application for residential property in Kansas City, Morriss falsely inflated his monthly income by about $2,600.
Morriss lied to FBI agents during an interview about the loan applications that was held on Nov. 18, 2012.
Under the terms of the plea agreement if it is accepted by the court at his sentencing hearing, Morriss will be sentenced to three years of probation and pay $12,794 in restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced the guilty plea.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by the FBI and HUD-Office of Inspector General.