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4 more sentenced in federal ‘Wax House’ probe

Jill Rose, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina
Jill Rose, acting U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina

Four more people have been sentenced for participating in the sprawling “Operation Wax House” mortgage and investment fraud scheme that targeted Mecklenburg and Union counties.

The federal probe, which began in 2007, has resulted in 91 people being charged, according to the office of Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Rose. Of those, 89 have either pleaded guilty or been convicted. The other two remain international fugitives.

The four sentenced this week:

▪ John McDowell, 42, of Charlotte, who was sentenced Thursday to 34 months in prison. Prosecutors say McDowell, who was arrested in Africa, served as a promoter in the scheme and induced victims to take out loans and sign the proceeds over to the racketeering enterprise. McDowell used the loan proceeds to fund his extravagant lifestyle, prosecutors say.

▪ Glynn Hubbard, 37, of Huntersville, who was sentenced Thursday to 36 months in prison. Hubbard served as a promoter and arranged two transactions for which he received about $250,000 in kickbacks, prosecutors say.

▪ James Tyson Sr., 63, of Charlotte, was sentenced Tuesday to 37 months in prison. Tyson served as a promoter and induced victims to invest more than $1 million in the scheme, prosecutors say. Tyson lived in a million-dollar mansion fraudulently purchased by the scheme in the name of a straw buyer and drove luxury vehicles taken out in the names of the scheme’s victims, prosecutors say.

▪ Kurosh Mehr, 54, of Charlotte, was sentenced Tuesday to 54 months in prison. A federal jury found Mehr guilty in October of racketeering conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering conspiracy. Mehr received approximately $300,000 in kickbacks from fraudulent mortgage loan proceeds, prosecutors say.

Of the scheme’s participants who have either pleaded guilty or been convicted, 11 remain to be sentenced, according to Rose’s office.

Prosecutors say the Wax House operation ran from about 2005 to 2012 and involved investment or securities fraud, mortgage fraud, money laundering and the distribution of marijuana.

Roberts: 704-358-5248;

Twitter: @DeonERoberts

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