Cindy Tilley Greer, 51, Clarendon, North Carolina, was sentenced by United States District Judge W. Earl Britt to 36 months’ imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release. A day later, on October 6, 2009, Stanley Garfield Williams, Jr., 38, Bolivia, North Carolina, received 70 months’ imprisonment followed by five years supervised release and a fine of $6,000.
A Federal Grand Jury returned a Criminal Indictment on November 19, 2008. Superseding Indictments were returned on February 9, 2009, and April 16, 2009. Williams and Greer pled guilty on February 2, 2009, and June 6, 2009, respective, each pleading to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
From approximately January, 1998, until about April, 2004, the defendants and others devised a scheme to defraud home buyers, banks and other lenders to obtain money and property from the home buyers and lenders, by materially false and fraudulent pretenses. Co-defendant Daniel Rooks bought about four tracts of land in Whiteville, North Carolina, subdivided the properties, put trailers on them, and sold them to low income people from around the area. In the Beginning, Rooks was selling these properties himself with the aid of several other family members. Rooks partnered with two mortgage brokers, Williams and another individual out of Greenville, to finance the mobile homes. Rooks falsely stated to the buyers the estimated cost of the property, the payment amounts and his ability to secure loans. After taking their Social Security numbers and names, he would then turn the information over to Williams and the other broker and they would falsify the loan applications, sending them in for approval.
Another co-defendant, Henry Clay Blake, Jr., who was a registered property appraiser, prepared false and inflated appraisals of certain parcels of real property that were submitted to mortgage lenders, which were relied upon by the lenders to determine the value of the real property for the mortgage loan. Greer was employed as a paralegal and notary by a law firm in Whiteville, North Carolina, where she prepared and notarized various real estate documents including the HUD-1 settlement statement. She also arranged and conducted real estate closings, sometimes without the borrower’s knowledge or presence, and prepared and disbursed settlement checks.
After the first round of sales were foreclosed, because the buyers could not make the payments, Williams began buying up the foreclosed property, finding new buyers or getting straw buyers whose names and Social Security numbers he could use to sell them all over again. Over 100 loans were secured and approximately $6 million in fraudulent funds were received.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case is being handled by the Office’s Economic Crimes Section. Assistant United States Attorney Thomas B. Murphy is in charge of the prosecution.
United States Attorney George E.B. Holding announced the October 5, 2009, sentencing.