Woman Charged with Mortgage and Bankruptcy Fraud

Allison Tussey —  October 8, 2009 — Leave a comment

Myra Holmes, 52, Vallejo, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury with concealment of assets and bank fraud.

The indictment, which was issued on Sept. 23, 2009, remained under seal until yesterday morning when Holmes was arrested in Vallejo. Holmes made her initial appearance in federal court in San Jose before United States Magistrate Judge Patricia V. Trumbull.

The indictment accuses Holmes of enriching herself by convincing her father-who had previously filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy-to convey to her, without consideration and without notifying or obtaining the permission of the bankruptcy court or the bankruptcy trustee, his interest in the Vallejo property where she lived. The indictment further alleges that after Holmes obtained her father’s interest in the property she withdrew the equity from the property through a refinancing mortgage loan, which she procured with a fraudulent refinancing application.

According to the indictment, as a result of her fraudulent refinancing application, Holmes received a refinanced mortgage, which increased the outstanding mortgage on the Vallejo property from approximately $180,000 to approximately $338,000; received approximately $130,000 wired to her personal bank account; and arranged for a title company to write several checks out of escrow funds to settle personal debts that Holmes owed-including payments to Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Macy‘s and Spiegel. By the end of April 2006, Holmes had spent on personal expenses virtually all of the approximately $130,000 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.

Holmes was released after executing a co-signed bond of $50,000. The defendant’s next scheduled appearance is at 9 a.m. on Oct. 28 for an initial appearance before United States District Court Judge Jeremy Fogel.

The maximum statutory penalty for 18 U.S.C. § 152(5)-Concealment of Assets-is five years’ imprisonment, a $250,000 fine and restitution. The maximum statutory penalty for 18 U.S.C. 1344-Bank Fraud-is 30 years’ imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine and restitution. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.

United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced the charges.

Joseph Fazioli is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Jeanne Carstensen. The indictment is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

An indictment contains only allegations against an individual and, as with all defendants, Holmes must be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.



Allison Tussey

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