Over $17 Million in Fraudulent Mortgage Loans
DAYTON, OH – July 15, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — A federal grand jury here has indicted a Waynesville couple, Gregory S. Chew, 41, and Peggy Pierson, age 46, along with Richard Confer Jr., age 42, of West Carrollton, charging the trio for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme involving multiple counts, including money laundering, structuring financial transactions, conspiracy to launder money, mail fraud, and wire fraud.
Gregory G. Lockhart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Jose A. Gonzalez, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation; Keith L. Bennett, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other members of the Greater Dayton Mortgage Fraud Task Force announced the superseding indictment returned today.
Chew, previously charged in an indictment on April 29, 2009 with money laundering and structuring financial transactions, was charged in this superseding indictment with additional counts of conspiracy to launder money, mail fraud, and wire fraud. Confer and Pierson have each been charged with conspiracy to launder money and wire fraud, with Confer also being indicted on mail fraud charges.
According to court documents, Chew, doing business under the names Raging Bull Enterprises and All World Capital Corporation, and Pierson, doing business under the name of Omega Title, LLC, allegedly recruited “investors” to buy and sell real estate in the Dayton area using inflated property appraisals and false promises. False and fraudulent financial information was submitted to lenders in order to obtain mortgages at the inflated property values and this money was put to personal use.
Between July 2003 and July 2009, the superseding indictment alleges that Chew, Conifer, and Pierson conspired to fraudulently obtain over $17 million in mortgage loans from over 39 mortgage lending institutions, of which the three obtained over $7.9 million for their collective personal use. Over 57 property investors were victimized as part of this scheme, and over 247 residential properties were sold and closed, 210 of which were located in Montgomery County, Ohio. Chew is charged with depositing proceeds from fraudulent mortgage loans into his own bank accounts between March 2005 and December 2007, and structuring the transactions by breaking large deposits into smaller ones in an effort to evade IRS cash transaction reporting requirement.
All three face possible imprisonment of up to 30 years on the wire fraud charge and 20 years on the conspiracy charge. In addition, Chew and Confer face 30 years on the mail fraud charge, while Chew faces additional imprisonment of 10 years for money laundering and five years on each count of structuring financial transactions.
Lockhart commended the joint investigation by the members of the Greater Dayton Mortgage Fraud Task Force. Agencies participating in the Greater Dayton Mortgage Fraud Task in addition to the FBI and IRS-CI include the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General, and the Perry Township Police Department.
An indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant should be presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court.
United States Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio
Contact: (937) 225-2910