Honolulu Woman Pleads Guilty in Fraud Scheme
HONOLULU—Jennifer McTigue, age 48, of Honolulu, today pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering, as well as committing wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering. McTigue pled guilty in federal district court before Senior District Judge Consuelo B. Marshall a day after jury selection for her trial was to have commenced.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, said that according to information produced in court, McTigue and codefendants Marc Melton and Sakara Blackwell operated a scheme to defraud lending institutions, buyers of real property and title insurance companies through a process of filing fraudulent mortgage release documents with the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. Once the Bureau of Conveyances accepted and filed the defendants’ fraudulent “satisfaction of mortgage” forms, McTigue, Melton and Blackwell were able to market and sell properties at substantial profit, since the lending institution holding the mortgage was never paid its outstanding debt. The scheme resulted in the defrauding of not only mortgage lenders, but also innocent buyers who unwittingly bought properties that appeared to be free and clear but were still subject to the existing mortgages. Documents filed in court allege that the defendants defrauded others of over $3.1 million through the operation of their scheme.
McTigue faces up to five years’ imprisonment as to one conspiracy and up to ten years’ imprisonment as to the other; up to 20 years’ imprisonment for wire fraud and mail fraud charges, and up to to ten years’ imprisonment on the money laundering charge. McTigue will be sentenced by Judge Marshall on October 26, 2015. Melton and Blackwell previously pled guilty and are to be sentenced by Senior District Judge Charles R. Breyer on September 29, 2015.
The investigation resulting in this prosecution was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. John A. Michelich, Senior Litigation Counsel of the Fraud Section of the Criminal Division of the Department of Justice, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Marc A. Wallenstein and Kenneth M. Sorenson handled the prosecution.