May 16, 2014

Grosse Ile Businessman Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Case

A Grosse Ile businessman was sentenced today after being convicted at trial of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade.

U.S. Attorney McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit, Michigan Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sentenced was Richard Dean Woolsey, 42, of Grosse Ile Township, Michigan. Woolsey was sentenced to 90 months by U.S. District Judge Avern Cohn. Judge Cohn also ordered Woolsey to serve three years’ supervised release after his custodial sentence. A separate hearing on restitution will be held within 90 days.

The evidence at trial showed that from 2006 to 2008, Richard Dean Woolsey conspired to defraud and defrauded mortgage lenders in numerous mortgage loan transactions in the states of Michigan and Tennessee. In executing the conspiracy and scheme to defraud, Woolsey used ReMax Experts a real estate company and The Valuation Group, an appraisal company both owned by him. Woolsey orchestrated and helped to orchestrate millions of dollars of fraudulent mortgage transactions by coordinating and directing the activities of bank employees, buyers, appraisers, and closing agents. In doing so, he disguised the source of down payments, provided false and inflated appraisals for properties, and provided false income information for buyers in order to bolster their creditworthiness and apparent ability to qualify for mortgage loans. Judge Cohn found that losses caused by Woolsey’s fraud were greater than $2.5 million and less than $7 million.

“Mortgage fraud harms real estate markets and property values and also undermines the ability of lending institutions to protect themselves from debilitating losses,” McQuade said.

Special Agent in Charge Abbate stated, “As reflected in the investigation of Mr. Woolsey’s criminal activity and his sentence today, the FBI takes mortgage fraud very seriously. These crimes, particularly those as egregious as Mr. Woolsey’s, not only negatively impact real estate markets, banks, and the financial industry, but hurt our entire community. The FBI will continue to aggressively investigate these crimes.”

Sentencing for co-defendant Ryan Vinco is scheduled for June 5, 2014.