MTSU Professor Sentenced to 12 Months and a Day for Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 16, 2009|
NASHVILLE, TN—Edward M. Yarbrough, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee, and My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge, Memphis Division, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that, on November 13, 2009, U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger sentenced Pamela Gail Holder to 12 months and one day in prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme. Dr. Holder had been found guilty of bank fraud and wire fraud offenses related to that scheme following a one-week jury trial in April 2009.
Dr. Holder, a professor of nursing at Middle Tennessee State University and the former coordinator of the statewide Tennessee Board of Regents On-Line Degree Program, was originally charged in a four-count indictment in June 2008. At trial, the jury heard evidence that Dr. Holder and others helped orchestrate a multi-million dollar mortgage-fraud scheme that involved a “straw buyer” with a good credit score, who was deceived by Dr. Holder into borrowing $2.4 million for the purpose of purchasing a $1.5 million dollar home in Hendersonville, Tennessee. In the months leading up to the purchase, Dr. Holder helped prepare or send false documents that, among other things, falsely claimed that the straw buyer was president of “Team Fat Man,” an automotive-sales business owned by Dr. Holder’s deceased husband, and greatly inflated the straw buyer’s income. Through those documents and other fraudulent misrepresentations, Dr. Holder was able to qualify the straw buyer for large loans well beyond what the straw buyer could afford. The scheme involved loans obtained at Bank of Nashville, Countrywide Home Loans, and First Tennessee Bank. After the straw buyer purchased the lavish home, Dr. Holder and her husband moved in and spent the excess loan funds on various purchases, including several pieces of diamond jewelry. When the straw buyer was unable to make the monthly mortgage payments of approximately $10,000, the mortgage defaulted and the property was foreclosed upon.
At the sentencing hearing, the government focused on the profound damage that Dr. Holder’s crime caused an innocent victim and the negative effect of mortgage fraud on the banking industry and the lending process. After the sentencing, United States Attorney Edward Yarbrough remarked, “Mortgage fraud is a serious crime, and we are pleased that the Court has imposed an appropriately serious sentence in this case. The United States Attorney’s Office and our law-enforcement partners will continue to investigate such frauds and bring those who commit them to justice.” In addition, My Harrison, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Memphis Division, stated, "The FBI will continue to target those who criminally manipulate our financial system for personal gain and keep working to bring criminals like this to justice to ensure that they pay for their crimes."
The investigation of the case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ty E. Howard of the Middle District of Tennessee and Trial Attorney Peter A. Frandsen of the U.S. Department of Justice Fraud Section represented the United States.