California Woman Sentenced to Seven Years in Prison in $16 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme
PENSACOLA, FL—United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh announced the sentencing today of Andrea Lorraine Avery, 47, of Los Angeles, California, following acceptance of her guilty plea in December of last year. Avery pleaded guilty to seven counts that included conspiracy to commit fraud, five counts of mail fraud affecting a financial institution, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Avery was sentenced to 84 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $10,323,369 to the FDIC as Receiver for Washington Mutual, GMAC Mortgage, SunTrust Mortgage, Wells Fargo Bank, USBank, and others.
Avery admitted that beginning in 2005 and continuing through 2008, she and others entered into contracts to purchase 24 residences located in Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Texas, and California. As a part of the fraudulent scheme, numerous properties located in the Northern District of Florida were purchased, which included homes in Navarre, Santa Rosa Beach, and Panama City. Thereafter, fraudulent loan applications were submitted to financial institutions to fund the purchases. In the loan applications, Avery and other borrowers made false statements to the lenders, which included providing false names and Social Security numbers; overstating the borrower’s income and assets; and falsely stating the earnest money deposit was not borrowed. In support of the loans, Avery and other borrowers submitted fraudulent supporting documents to the lenders, which included false paystubs, false W-2s, false verifications of employment, and false documentation concerning the borrower’s credit. Approximately $16 million in loans were issued by the lenders in connection with the fraudulent scheme. Avery and her company received more than $3.5 million in kickbacks as a result of the scheme.
The charges are the result of an investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Tiffany H. Eggers.