Edmond Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Defendant Ordered to Pay Over $770,000 in Restitution
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 03, 2009|
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK—Yesterday, Phillip Seibel, 39, of Edmond, Oklahoma, was sentenced by United States District Judge David Russell to serve 30 months in prison for money laundering stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme, announced Robert J. Troester, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma. In addition, Judge Russell ordered Seibel to pay $770,037.31 in restitution and serve three years of supervised release upon release from prison.
According to court records and court proceedings, Seibel’s scheme worked like this: Seibel was a licensed mortgage broker who formed Homesavers, LLC (“Homesavers”) in April 2007 headquartered in Oklahoma City. Homesavers contacted homeowners who were facing foreclosure (the “sellers”) and told them that Homesavers would allow the sellers to stay in their homes while the sellers worked to improve their credit. Homesavers promised to find investors to purchase the sellers’ homes and to allow the sellers could stay in their homes and begin paying “rent” to Homesavers, which promised to use those rent payments to pay the mortgages. Homesavers further promised that the sellers could repurchase the homes for a fixed price when their credit improved.
Homesavers promised potential investors that their only role would be to purchase the homes and that Homesavers would coordinate all rent payments with the sellers and ensure that the mortgages were timely paid. Homesavers then assisted the investors in obtaining financing to purchase the homes and regularly submitted false documents on the investors’ behalf to mortgage companies and/or assisted the investors in submitting and/or signing false documents to the mortgage companies.
At closing, Homesavers would arrange to receive the equity checks directly and, without permission, endorse the sellers’ names and deposit the checks into Homesavers’ bank account. Homesavers did not make the mortgage payments on the homes as promised but repeatedly assured the sellers falsely that mortgage payments were being made. Most of the homes were foreclosed upon, and the sellers lost all equity in their homes. The money gained from Homesavers was used to pay personal expenses, such as personal mortgage payments, car payments, and country club memberships.
Seibel pled guilty to money laundering on July 22, 2009. Seibel was ordered to report to the Bureau of Prisons on January 4, 2010, to begin serving his sentence.
This case is a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigative Division. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeb Boatman.