DENVER (CBS4)– A Denver woman was sentenced to serve five years in federal prison for mail and wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.
Vicki Dillard Crowe, also known as Vicki R. Dillard, was also ordered to serve three years on supervised release and ordered to pay $2,408,142 in restitution to the victims of her crime.
Crowe, 32, was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver on April 5, 2010. She was found guilty by a jury trial on Dec. 16, 2011. Crowe was sentenced on Sept. 27.
According to the indictment, beginning in June 2004, and continuing through December 2006, Crowe knowingly devised and intended to devise a scheme to defraud various financial institutions and commercial lenders and to obtain money and property from various financial institutions and commercial lenders by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises. The scheme was executed in connection with the residential mortgage loans related to 19 properties in Metro Denver.
As part of the scheme, Crowe worked with at least one mortgage broker to obtain mortgage loans in order to purchase the residential properties, at least two of which were purchased in the name of Crowe’s husband because Crowe was concerned that she would not qualify for the required mortgage loans.
As part of the transactions, Crowe persuaded, and caused someone else to persuade, the property seller to falsely inflate the sale price of the property so that Crowe could receive the inflated portion of the sale price as “up front” money, or shortly after, the closing purchase transaction. Sometimes the “up front” money was falsely characterized on a HUD settlement statement as a payment to the broker, although the broker would then pay Crowe the money.
At other times, the “up front” money was falsely characterized as a payment to a remodeling company that was supposed to perform specified remodeling work, although the work was never performed, and Crowe actually received the money that was issued to these remodeling companies.The indictment further alleges that Crowe used much of the “up front” money to make the mortgage payments on the numerous properties that she had purchased. She also refinanced mortgages on a couple of the properties so that she could obtain additional money as a result of the refinance transaction.
“Mortgage fraud hurts borrowers, the public, and the financial system as a whole,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “We will continue to prosecute mortgage fraud aggressively and effectively.”
“The FBI is fully committed to protecting our economy by aggressively investigating those who commit mortgage fraud,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone.