A federal judge sentenced two men Tuesday for their involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme that prosecutors say targeted homes in the Charlotte area.
Anthony C. Carrothers, 49, of Charlotte, and Gregory D. Anderson, 47, of Kingstree, S.C., were sentenced to varying prison terms by U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn, according to Anne Tompkins, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina.
Prosecutors said the scheme was operated from 2006 to 2009 and involved inflating home prices, money laundering and falsifying loan documents.
Anderson, whom prosecutors described as the operator and promoter of the scheme, would negotiate with sellers to inflate selling prices above original listing prices so that he could profit from the difference, according to court documents.
Anderson would draft agreements outlining how the sales proceeds would be distributed, according to court documents. In some arrangements, Anderson would receive kickbacks directly from sellers, the documents say.
Some of the homes were bought using “straw” buyers, whom Anderson would qualify for mortgages through falsified loan applications and documents, according to court documents.
Anderson used bank accounts of others, including Carrothers, to conceal the source of funds used to purchase properties, according to court documents. Anderson also created “shell” remodeling companies to receive proceeds from the scheme, court documents say.
Anderson obtained more than $647,943 and three homes using fraudulently obtained loans, prosecutors said. The homes have since been foreclosed on, Tompkins’ office said.
Carrothers, a former Charlotte firefighter, received more than $8,900 in kickbacks from Anderson, prosecutors said.
Anderson, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to multiple charges in connection with the scheme, was sentenced to 15 years in prison, Tompkins’ office said.
Anderson, who injured several Charlotte-Mecklenburg police in an attempt to flee arrest, was also ordered to pay restitution of $2.18 million, Tompkins’ office said.
Carrothers, who was found guilty by a federal jury on two felony counts in 2012, was sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay $184,344 in restitution and $62,000 in a forfeiture judgment, Tompkins’ office said.
Cogburn agreed to sentence Carrothers to a lesser term based on his acceptance of responsibility as well as his work with people with disabilities after his jury conviction, according to Tompkins’ office.
A third defendant in the scheme, Maria Mejia Herrera, 45, of Rock Hill, pleaded guilty in 2012 to one count of bank fraud conspiracy.
Herrera, one of Anderson’s straw buyers, was sentenced to one year of probation last year and ordered to pay $632,289 in restitution, according to Tompkins’ office.