Ann Hils, 54, East Hampton, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud related to a real estate appraisal scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Hils was not a provisional or certified real estate appraiser in the state of Connecticut at any time. From in or about December 2006 to in or about March 2008, Hils knowingly and willfully conspired with her daughter and co-defendant, Brandy Gomez, to obtain real estate appraisal fees to which they were not entitled.
More specifically, Hils and Gomez knowingly submitted falsified work logs to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection purporting to show that Gomez, a provisional appraiser, completed dozens of real estate appraisals under the supervision of a certified appraiser when, in fact, Gomez had not performed such work and was not entitled to such appraisal fees.
Moreover, Hils knowingly and willfully used the individual names, certified appraiser license numbers, business names, and, in some instances, signatures, of three certified appraisers without their authorization in dozens of materially false real estate appraisals.
Hils and Gomez obtained fees in connection with these false appraisals and split approximately $47,908 in proceeds.
Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for November 14, 2014, at which time HILS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
On March 19, 2014, Gomez plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud in the same appraisal scheme. She awaits sentencing.
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the guilty plea.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang.