California Man Sentenced to Prison for Making False Statement to Bank
URBANA, IL—A California man, Michael Allen Cox, 39, was taken into law enforcement custody when his sentencing hearing ended on May 22, 2014. U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey ordered Cox to serve 27 months in federal prison for making a false statement to a bank related to a loan application to purchase a Rantoul, Illinois apartment complex. Cox was also ordered to pay $650,000 restitution to the victim bank. Further, Cox will remain on supervised release for five years following his release from prison with the condition that he cannot engage in real estate transactions without approval from U.S. Probation.
On February 10, 2014, Cox entered a plea of guilty to making a false statement to the Bank of Rantoul in July 2008. Cox admitted he provided a false escrow receipt in the amount of $250,000 as proof of funding necessary to rehabilitate the Parkview Rentals Apartments located at 1400 Hobson Drive, Rantoul, Illinois. Cox admitted the escrow receipt, which appeared to be a cashier’s check for $250,000 from Wells Fargo Bank, was false and no such deposit existed.
In July 2008, Cox, acting as the chief operating officer for Crane and Power Industries, Los Angeles, received a loan in the amount of $1,663,459 to purchase the Parkview apartments. Cox set up Evergreen Property Management to collect rent from the rental properties and to manage the rehabilitation of the property. By February 2009, Crane and Power failed to make mortgage payments and the property went into foreclosure. The apartments were in complete disrepair and deemed uninhabitable by the time the foreclosure was finalized in September 2009. Bank of Rantoul was unable to sell the property and the property was eventually deeded to the Village of Rantoul in February 2011, at a loss of approximately $2 million on the property.
The case investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronda H. Coleman.