Two Men Indicted on Federal Charges in $45 Million Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy
COLUMBIA, SC—United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced today an indictment charging George L. Turner, Jr., 41, of Ladson, South Carolina and Clayton G. Wickersham, age 34, of Summerville, South Carolina, with Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Bank Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. Turner and Wickersham are each facing a maximum of 30 years’ imprisonment and/or a $1,000,000 fine and five years of supervised release.
The indictment stems from an ongoing investigation into allegations the defendants were involved in a mortgage fraud conspiracy based out of real estate and mortgage businesses located in Summerville. The indictment alleges the scheme involved more than 70 properties, approximately $45 million of mortgage loans, and a loss of more than $23 million suffered by financial institutions. The indictment further alleges that the properties were located in Charleston, Johns Island, Ladson, Mount Pleasant, Summerville, Edisto Island, St. Helena Island, Garden City, Murrells Inlet, Myrtle Beach, North Myrtle Beach, Lake Keowee, and Tybee Island, Georgia.
Three other defendants previously pleaded guilty in connection with the scheme and are awaiting sentencing. Scott M. Wickersham, 36, of Summerville, pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Bank Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, and two counts of Willfully Making and Subscribing a False Tax Return, in violation of Title 26, United States Code, Section 7206(1). Steven F. Weiss, 66, of Virginia, and Kelly Martin, 34, of Moncks Corner, each pleaded guilty to one count of Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Bank Fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.
The Indictment is the result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI). Assistant United States Attorney Dean H. Secor of the Charleston office is prosecuting the case.
Mr. Nettles stated that the charges in this Indictment are merely accusations and that the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.