Criminal Justice News

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Maryland Man Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Bank Fraud

NORFOLK, VA—Christopher G. DeBlauw, 44, of Millersville, Maryland, pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. DeBlauw faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Chief Judge Rebecca Beach Smith on August 28, 2012.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, made the announcement after DeBlauw’s plea was accepted by United States Magistrate Judge F. Bradford Stillman.

According to the statement of facts filed with the plea agreement, DeBlauw conspired with several individuals to purchase real estate on the Eastern Shore, in Cape Charles, Virginia, by submitting fraudulent loan applications and falsifying HUD-1 Settlement Statements and thereby defrauding various financial institutions including BB&T, Lehman Brothers, and Acacia Federal Savings Bank. DeBlauw’s role was to provide the down payments to the straw buyers of the properties that his company was selling. DeBlauw wired these funds to the co-conspirator straw purchasers, who would then falsely state on the HUD-1 that the down payment was from their own funds when in fact it was provided by DeBlauw. From September 2005 through September 2008, DeBlauw provided the down payment on at least six properties. All of these properties went into foreclosure and losses exceeded 1.8 million dollars.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Secret Service, and the Virginia State Police. Assistant United States Attorneys Robert J. Seidel, Jr. and Joseph L. Kosky are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

The investigation has been coordinated by the Virginia Financial and Securities Fraud Task Force, an unprecedented partnership between criminal investigators and civil regulators to investigate and prosecute complex financial fraud cases in the nation and in Virginia. The task force is an investigative arm of the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, an interagency national task force.

President Obama established the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

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