Wednesday, May 26, 2010 | 2:34 p.m.
A federal grand jury in Las Vegas indicted five people today on mortgage fraud charges, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden announced.
Lloyd H. Gardley, 56, and Candis Gardley, 53, of Chandler, Ariz.; Suzanne McAllister, 32, of Las Vegas; Arcell Mitchell, Jr., 31, of Fort Riley, Kan.; and Sharon Wagner, 61, of Sun City West, Ariz., were charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, six counts of bank fraud, and criminal forfeiture.
Arrest warrants were issued for the Gardleys and Mitchell. McAllister and Wagner were summoned, and are scheduled for an initial appearance before a federal magistrate judge in Las Vegas on June 4.
Lloyd Gardley was president, director, secretary and resident agent of Prolific Management, Inc., a Nevada corporation, and registered agent of Avante Conquest, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company. Lloyd and Candis Gardley were managing members of Excel Consulting, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company. Candis Gardley was president and resident agent of Oakhill Management, Inc., a Nevada corporation. McAllister was an assistant escrow officer and notary at Lawyers Title. Mitchell worked as a loan officer for Valley Mortgage Group. Wagner was a Realtor for Coldwell Banker Wardley.
The indictment alleges that from 2005 to April 2007, the defendants devised a mortgage fraud scheme that involved the use of straw buyers and the submission of false information to financial institutions in order to obtain mortgage loans. The defendants solicited persons to act as straw buyers to purchase real estate, and in some instances, the defendants had the straw buyers purchase multiple houses at or about the same time. The defendants caused to be submitted to the financial institutions mortgage loan applications containing fraudulent information about the straw buyers’ employment, income, assets, liabilities, rental history, value of the property, intent to occupy the homes, Social Security number, and source of earnest money deposits and costs.
The indictment lists 28 real property sales transactions involving 21 homes sold in Las Vegas between Aug. 25, 2005, and April 18, 2007. Seven of the homes were “flipped” or sold twice within short periods of time. A majority of the homes sold for more than $700,000, and the total value of the mortgages for the 28 transactions was $18.9 million.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each count, and may be required to forfeit up to $4.2 million.
This investigation is being led by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and other agencies of the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Task Force, including the FBI, Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Secret Service, Metro Police, and Office of the Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Pugh.
Persons who have information concerning potential mortgage fraud may contact the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Hotline at 584-5555.