Three More Defendants Sentenced for Their Role in Federal Racketeering Conspiracy
CHARLOTTE, NC—Denetria Myles, 43, of Charlotte, Frank DeSimone, 42, of Charlotte, and William Brown, 35, of Matthews, N.C., were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Graham C. Mullen on Wednesday, February 18, 2015, on federal racketeering charges, announced the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina. One additional defendant was sentenced earlier this month for his role in the scheme.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is joined in making today’s announcement by John A. Strong, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Charlotte Division, and Thomas J. Holloman III, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CI).
These convictions are the latest in Operation Wax House, an investigation which began in 2007. Of the 91 individuals charged, eighty-nine defendants have either pleaded guilty or have been convicted following trial. The two remaining defendants are international fugitives.
Myles was sentenced to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Myles served the conspiracy as a buyer, seller, promoter, and licensed notary. In total, the fraudulent transactions Myles participated in resulted in more than $2 million in losses to financial and lending institutions, with Myles receiving nearly a quarter million in exchange for her crimes. Myles was convicted at trial in October 2013 of racketeering conspiracy and bank fraud.
DeSimone was sentenced to 51 months in prison, followed by two years of supervised release. According to court records and Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, DeSimone operated as a promoter in the investment fraud operations and was involved with multiple fraudulent companies controlled by the Enterprise. In sentencing DeSimone, Judge Mullen noted that an active sentence was necessary to protect the public from further crimes of this defendant. DeSimone pleaded guilty for his role in the RICO conspiracy in November 2013.
Brown was sentenced to 48 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. According to court records and Wednesday’s sentencing hearing, Brown served the racketeering Enterprise as a promoter in its mortgage fraud operations. As part of the racketeering Enterprise, Brown was involved in at least ten separate mortgage fraud transactions, resulting in losses of approximately $3 million, and he received more than $780,000 in fraudulent kickbacks. According to court records, over the course of the conspiracy Brown also engaged in identity theft. Brown pleaded guilty for his role in the RICO conspiracy in October 2013.
Earlier this month, on February 3, 2015, Judge Mullen also sentenced Sean Williams, 46, of Huntersville, N.C. to 30 months in prison followed by two years of supervised release. Williams was a licensed loan officer and a certified public accountant, who owned and operated a mortgage company, which he used to process loan applications for mortgage fraud transactions, resulting in a total loss of more than $5 million. Williams pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud charges.
Of the 26 six defendants charged in RICO Indictment, 15 await sentencing, including three of the scheme’s leaders. The fourth leader, Ramin Amini, 46, last known address Tehran, Iran, is one of two international fugitives.
Operation Wax House in the Western District of North Carolina is being handled by the Charlotte Division of the FBI and the Criminal Division of the IRS for the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, along with the Securities Division of the North Carolina Secretary of State with respect to a separate prosecution. The Operation Wax House prosecution is being handled for the government by Assistant United States Attorney Maria K. Vento.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 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. Since the inception of FFETF in November 2009, the Justice Department has filed more than 12,841 financial fraud cases against nearly 18,737 defendants including nearly 3,500 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
The names and case numbers of the all the defendants charged to date in Operation Wax House are listed below, organized by their alleged role in the scheme.