National Appraisal Instructor and Associate Sentenced for Their Roles in Mortgage Fraud
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 28, 2014|
RALEIGH, NC—The United States Attorney’s Office announces that in federal court yesterday, Chief United States District Judge James C. Dever, III sentenced former real estate appraiser Larry Max McDaniel, 70, of Vienna, West Virginia, to 66 months’ imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release. The court also sentenced Jackie Gale Weaver, Jr., 50, of West Hamlin, West Virginia, to 21 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release. The court further ordered that McDaniel and Weaver make total restitution of $5,809,417.94 to various banks, lenders, and other victims.
The charging documents and subsequent evidence in the cases showed that between 2002 and 2006, an individual identified as James Thomas Webb (previously sentenced to 237 months in prison) was operating a company identified as Alpine Properties LLC. Webb promised investors that he and Alpine Properties would use investor money to purchase homes at a low value, renovate the homes, and then sell them to first-time home buyers for a higher value.
The evidence established that McDaniel, a licensed real estate appraiser residing in West Virginia, and Weaver, a former appraisal associate of McDaniel, began to falsify appraisals for Webb and Alpine Properties. On the appraisals, McDaniel was listed as the North Carolina appraiser who performed each appraisal. In fact, however, McDaniel did not visit the properties, nor did he create the appraisal documents. Instead, the information that was listed in the appraisal reports, including measurements, sketches, and photographs, all came from Weaver or employees of Webb and Alpine Properties.
The evidence also established that McDaniel did not draft, print, or execute the appraisals that bore his name and official seal; Weaver performed those tasks, often from within Webb’s offices at Alpine Properties. Nevertheless, McDaniel invoiced and received payment for many of the appraisals. McDaniel also wrote detailed letters to banks and lenders to support the value assigned in his appraisal documents, even though McDaniel had never, in fact, been to the properties.
The superseding indictment alleges and evidence in court ultimately showed that Weaver created and McDaniel authorized approximately 200 false appraisals in the manner described above.
McDaniel pled guilty to making a false statement to influence a nank on a loan and aiding and abetting, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1014 and 2. Weaver pled guilty on September 19, 2011, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud, and to make false statements to influence financial institutions on loans.
Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Inspector General, with the assistance of the North Carolina Appraisal Board. Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represented the United States.