Crime & Courts

2 Charlotte residents plead guilty in foreclosure assistance scheme

Daniel Heggins
Daniel Heggins Mecklenburg County jail

A man and a woman from Charlotte have pleaded guilty in a foreclosure assistance scheme.

Daniel Heggins and Joan Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States, prosecutors said.

According to court documents and statements in court, the pair conspired to defraud the government by filing false tax returns.

Heggins recruited people with debts, such as home mortgages or car loans, and created false Forms 1099-OID falsely characterizing the amount of the debts as income, prosecutors said.

Heggins and Clark then prepared and filed false Forms 1040 that requested refunds from the IRS based on the false Forms 1099-OID.

Sixteen false tax returns claiming more than $4 million in fraudulent refunds were filed with the IRS office in Charlotte as part of the scheme, court records show.

Clark and Marlowe Williams of New London, N.C., filed three false tax returns requesting $900,000 in refunds from the IRS. They received $601,780, according to court records.

Heggins pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy on Tuesday and faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On Nov. 5, Clark pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to defraud the United States. She faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each count.

On Monday, Williams pleaded guilty to conspiring with Clark to defraud the United States. He faces a maximum five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

On Sept. 24, Cheryl Jones of Chicago, Ill., pleaded guilty to presenting a materially false document to the IRS. Jones submitted false tax returns to the IRS at the direction of Heggins and Clark, according to prosecutors. She faces a maximum year in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Sentencing dates for the four have not been set.

Staff Researcher Maria David contributed.

Joe Marusak: 704-358-5067, @jmarusak