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 in a real estate investment “opportunity” but instead was an effort to rid the McGills of their mortgages. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in partnership with the State Attorney Bruce Colton of the 19th Judicial Circuit.
Prosecutors told the jury that Rodney McGill used his radio program to advertise a contest to become the “Fabulous Five,” five “winners” who would receive advice from the pastor on making millions through real estate investments. At least three victims called the radio station and provided their social security numbers and other financial information.
The McGills showed their victims the properties that had been “selected” especially for them, but the scheme carefully concealed the fact that the McGills owned each of the properties offered up as potential investments. Prosecutors also argued that the McGills encouraged their victims to lie about income and other information to obtain the mortgages for the properties. Through the fraud, the defendants stole over $1 million from banks, paid down their debts, and left their straw buyers with ruined credit.
Rodney and Shalonda McGill were arrested in September 2008. They will be sentenced in September. The case was investigated jointly by the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Financial Regulation.