PENSACOLA, FL – December 19, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, announced that Destin resident Randolph Branham (age 45) was convicted yesterday of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bribery of a loan officer, following a four-day jury trial. Prior to the trial, four others indicted in the scheme pled guilty, which included Crestview attorney Chris Cadenhead (age 56), two Destin residents, Jackie T. Fair (age 70), Jane M. McDonald (age 58), and former loan officer Larry J. Malone (age 56), of Bainbridge, Georgia.
During the trial, it was proven that in order for McDonald and Fair to obtain a penthouse condominium located in Destin, Florida, Cadenhead, Branham, and Fair conspired to defraud the financial institution, Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, ACA, located in Bainbridge, Georgia. As a part of the conspiracy, Branham contacted Southwest Georgia Farm Credit’s then-Chief Lending Officer, Malone, to ask that he assist Cadenhead in obtaining a $500,000 loan from the bank, which was going to be used to help purchase the penthouse condominium. With the understanding that Malone would receive a financial benefit in the form of a bribe, Malone agreed to assist and, thereafter, authorized the $500,000 loan to Cadenhead. Three months later, Malone approved a second loan for $700,000 to refinance the first loan and a $150,000 check was sent to Cadenhead. The evidence showed that, from the proceeds of that second loan, Malone was given a $50,000 check, which represented the payment of the bribe originally negotiated by Branham, Branham received a $25,000 check, Cadenhead took $25,000 for himself, and another individual also received some of the money.
Thereafter, McDonald obtained loans through fraud in her name for the penthouse condominium with the assistance of Fair and Cadenhead.
As a result of Branham’s conviction, Branham faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison on both counts one and two. Branham is scheduled to be sentenced March 15, 2012, by Chief District Judge M. Casey Rodgers. Cadenhead, Fair, and McDonald are scheduled to be sentenced March 2, 2012. Cadenhead and Fair face 30 years in prison on Counts one and two, and also face 20 years in prison on counts three and four with McDonald. The former loan officer, Malone, will be sentenced by a District Court Judge in the Middle District of Georgia for his conduct surrounding this scheme and faces 30 years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and receipt of gifts or commissions for procuring a loan.
This investigation was conducted by the recently formed Northwest Florida Mortgage Fraud Task Force, a partnership between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.
U.S. Attorney Marsh noted, “This successful prosecution of five defendants, including an attorney and a bank loan officer, on mortgage fraud offenses demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice in combating mortgage fraud in the Northern District of Florida. We must protect the integrity of the real estate market and banking institutions in our communities, which are major contributors to the health of our economy in Florida. I commend the investigative activities of the Mortgage Fraud Task Force and the prosecutor’s work on this case. Together, they did an excellent job in unraveling some very complicated real estate financial transactions in this case.”
Northern District of Florida
- Owner of Jacksonville Home Building Company Convicted of Mortgage Fraud
JACKSONVILLE, FL - March 24, 2010 - (RealEstateRama) -- United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton and James Casey, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announce today that, following a two-week trial, a federal jury has found Marshall Craig Scott (age 59, of Jacksonville) guilty of commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Scott faces...
- Jensen Beach Pastor, Wife Convicted of Mortgage Fraud Scheme
TALLAHASSEE, FL - July 22, 2009 - (RealEstateRama) -- Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Jensen Beach Pastor and his wife have been convicted of mortgage fraud by a Martin County Jury. Rodney McGill and his mortgage broker wife Shalonda face up to 170 years in prison after running a mortgage fraud scheme that enticed victims to participate...
- Jacksonville Man Sentenced to Seven Years in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
JACKSONVILLE, FL—United States Attorney A. Brian Albritton announces that U.S. District Judge Henry Lee Adams, Jr., today sentenced Juan Carlos Gonzalez (age 51, of Jacksonville) to seven years in federal prison for conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud. The court also entered a money judgment against Gonzalez for $6,296,303.65, the amount that Gonzalez obtained from the fraud. Gonzalez had...
- 6 Miami-Dade Mortgage Fraud Defendants Plead Guilty To Roles In $17 Million Mortgage Fraud Enterprise
TALLAHASSEE, FL – August 18, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that six South Florida individuals have pleaded guilty to their roles in a criminal mortgage fraud operation that defrauded several financial institutions out of more than $17 million. The six were among 15 who were arrested in July after a 10-month [...]...
- Former Jacksonville Title Agency Owner Pleads Guilty in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
JACKSONVILLE, FL - August 22, 2011 - (RealEstateRama) -- U.S. Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that Cynthia Darlene Strickland (age 45, Jacksonville) pleaded guilty on Thursday to bank fraud. Strickland was a licensed title agent and the owner of Premier Title Group, Inc., a title agency in Jacksonville. She faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison....
- Attorney General Pam Bondi Announces New Procedures Banks Must Follow to Help Distressed Homeowners Seeking Relief Under National Mortgage Settlement
- Public Works urges citizens to protect their property from flooding hazards
- Community-development conference kicks off in Orlando; 2,100 professionals, $1.84 million in economic impact expected
- SOUTH FLORIDA MULTIFAMILY MARKET CHARTS RECORD SALES
- CBRE HOTELS SELLS THE COMFORT INN UNIVERSITY GAINESVILLE, FLORIDA
- Tampa Law Firm Sued for Mortgage Rescue Scam
- Martinez Announces First-Time Homebuyer Forum in Miami
- Attorney General Hosts Second Miami Community Forum on Housing Issues
- Martinez Hosts Homeownership Preservation Forum for Residents In Manatee & Sarasota Counties
- Attorney General, Florida Interagency Mortgage Task Force Host Broward Community Forum on Housing Issues
- Attorney General McCollum Hosts South Florida Community Forum on Housing Issue
- Florida Interagency Mortgage Task Force Hosts Community Forum on Housing Issues
- Attorney General Hosts Central Florida Community Forum on Housing Issues
- The Conference Board: Consumer Confidence Index down
- FLORIDA PARTNERSHIP RECEIVES $1,000,000 AFFORDABLE HOUSING PRESERVATION GRANT AWARD FROM THE MACARTHUR FOUNDATION
- Sinking dollar gives foreigners ‘upper hand’