Man Sentenced to Almost Five Years in Prison for Las Vegas Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 10, 2014|
LAS VEGAS, NV—A Henderson, Nevada man has been sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay $834,000 in restitution for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that caused more than $1 million in losses to federally insured financial institutions, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Lance Kellow, 37, was sentenced on Friday, March 7, 2014, by U.S. District Judge Gloria M. Navarro. Kellow was convicted by a jury in March 2013 of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, three counts of wire fraud, and one count of bank fraud.
“Hundreds of persons have now been convicted and sentenced to prison for committing fraud in the lending and housing industries in southern Nevada,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “Since 2008, we have worked diligently with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners to prosecute federally the most egregious cases of this type of fraud.”
Lance Kellow, an experienced loan officer and licensed mortgage broker in southern Nevada, used his experience and knowledge to commit mortgage fraud for profit. On four different occasions, Lance Kellow and his brothers, Jason and Vince Kellow, lied to mortgage lenders in order to get real estate and money for their own use.
Beginning in January 2007, the brothers conspired to sell their houses to their cousin, who was not qualified to buy them, for a significant profit. The brothers placed false information about their cousin’s employment and finances in mortgage loan applications, and helped him qualify for the loans by depositing cash in his bank account and omitting and paying down his debt, all without informing the lenders. As a result of the false statements in the loan applications, the lenders made loans to the cousin that they would not have otherwise made. Using this scheme, the Kellow brothers received over $500,000 in cash from these sales. The cousin then defaulted on the mortgages, causing losses to the banks in excess of $1 million.
Lance Kellow was permitted to self-report to federal prison by June 5, 2014.
Jason Kellow pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and was sentenced in March 2013 to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $1 million in restitution. Vinson Kellow pleaded guilty to wire fraud and was sentenced in April 2013 to seven months in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathryn C. Newman and Christina Brown.
This case was handled in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.