Virginia Woman Convicted of Straw Buyer Scam

Allison Tussey —  November 17, 2010 — Leave a comment

Yvonne L. Robertson, 44, Hampton, Va., was convicted by a federal jury of engaging in a mortgage fraud scheme. Robertson faces a maximum penalty of 30 years on the conspiracy and mail and wire fraud counts, 10 years on the counts charging engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity, and 10 years on the false statement count.

Robertson was first indicted on Feb. 9, 2010, along with, Maria Henderson, 41, Virginia Beach, Va., on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as 11 separate mail and wire fraud counts. Joseph M. Garner, Jr., 49, Virginia Beach, Va., was charged separately by criminal information on Feb. 8, 2010, with mail fraud. A superseding indictment, returned by a federal grand jury in May, 2010, added charges of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from unlawful activity, as well as making materially false statements to an agent of the United States.

According to the superseding indictment, from November 2006 through May 2009, Robertson operated a real estate investment and property management business known as Angel’s Touch Real Estate Investments, LLC located in Virginia Beach, Va. In the course of business, Angel’s Touch would identify investment properties in the Tidewater, Virginia area for purchase. Robertson signed contracts for the purchases but often assigned the contracts to other individuals (“strawbuyers) for purchase with promises that she would arrange for the down payment funds and closing costs, that she would then manage the properties by finding renters, collecting rental payments, and making mortgage payments, and that individuals would received cash back from loan proceeds of the property. Robertson caused false information to be presented to lenders in order to obtain the mortgage loans for the straw buyers. Robertson also failed to deliver on her promises to the borrowers, but fraudulently obtained proceeds from the closings for herself and her company. Robertson routed these proceeds, by wire transfer, into the accounts of various other individuals and, on one occasion, caused money returned to a strawbuyer to be given to Robertson through a cashier’s check.

Henderson was a loan officer for a number of companies engaged in mortgage brokering services, including Yourturn Finances and Mortgage Star, Inc. Henderson was responsible for taking mortgage loan applications and seeking a mortgage lender for which she received commissions based on the loans she processed. Garner submitted false mortgage documents, through Henderson, to purchase a property for Robertson indicating that he would be the primary occupant. Instead, following closing, the property was occupied by a renter. After a short period of time the property went into default and the renter was evicted.

Henderson pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud on April 6, 2010, and was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $230,000.00. Garner pled guilty to a criminal information alleging mail fraud on March 16, 2010 and was sentenced to five years probation and ordered to pay $29,600.00 in restitution. Robertson is scheduled to be sentenced on March 22, 2011.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Brian J. Samuels and Special Assistant United States Attorney Eric Olshan prosecuted this case on behalf of the United States.


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Allison Tussey

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