Myra Holmes, 56, Vallejo, California, was sentenced on October 7, 2013, to 27 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay over $196,000 in restitution on bankruptcy and mortgage fraud related changes..
Following a three-week trial, on March 19, 2013, a federal jury convicted the defendant of one count of U.S.C. § 152(5)-bankruptcy fraud/concealment of assets, one count of 18 U.S.C. § 1344-bank fraud, and three counts of 18 U.S.C. 1014-making a false statement to a bank. The jury acquitted Holmes on two other false statement counts.
Evidence at trial showed that Holmes enriched herself by knowingly receiving from her father his half-interest in a Vallejo residence in which she lived. Holmes knew at the time she received this property that her father had previously declared bankruptcy and that, as a result, his half-interest in the Vallejo property now belonged to his Chapter 7 bankruptcy estate. Holmes took this half-interest in the Vallejo property without paying anything to the bankruptcy estate and also without notifying or obtaining the permission of the United States Bankruptcy Court or the bankruptcy trustee. After Holmes received her father’s half-interest in the Vallejo property, she drained the equity from the property through a fraudulent refinancing mortgage loan application.
The jury found that Holmes falsely told World Savings Bank in her refinancing mortgage applications: (1) that she earned $15,000 a month; (2) that she had a bank account balance of $15,000; and (3) that she was not a party to a lawsuit. Evidence at trial showed that Holmes knew at the time she filed her refinancing mortgage applications that she was overstating her monthly income and account balance and also knew that the bankruptcy trustee had recently filed a lawsuit against her seeking to recover the bankruptcy estate’s half-interest in the Vallejo property. As a result of her bankruptcy fraud and mortgage fraud, Holmes received approximately $147,000 directly and arranged for personal debts to be paid (including her debts to Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, and Spiegel).
By the end of April 2006, Holmes had spent on personal expenses (including gambling and shopping) all of the approximately $147,000 that she had fraudulently received as a result of the November 2005 refinancing of the Vallejo property. To date, Holmes has not repaid the bankruptcy estate for the funds she took out of the Vallejo property in the November 2005 refinancing.
The Honorable Edward J. Davila, United States District Court Judge, handed down the 27-month sentence. Judge Davila also ordered Holmes to pay over $196,000 in restitution and to serve a three-year term of supervised release. Judge Davila denied Holmes‘ motion for bail pending appeal and ordered her to self-surrender by January 7, 2014 to begin serving her sentence.
United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced the sentence.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Fazioli prosecuted the case with the assistance of Lakisha Holliman and Laurie Worthen. This prosecution is the result of a multi-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.