Centennial woman sentenced for mortgage fraud

Posted 2/10/09

Linda Edwards, 55, of Centennial, was sentenced Feb. 6 by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve three years in federal prison for wire …

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Centennial woman sentenced for mortgage fraud


Linda Edwards, 55, of Centennial, was sentenced Feb. 6 by U.S. District Court Judge Marcia S. Krieger to serve three years in federal prison for wire fraud, false statements and false use of a Social Security number.

Following the prison term, Edwards was ordered to spend three years on supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $646,521.87. She will forfeit about $140,000, which represents the proceeds of her illegal activities, and pay a $1,300 special assessment to a victims of crime fund.

Krieger ordered Edwards to report to a facility designated by the U.S. Bureau of Prisons on or before March 9.

Edwards was indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver, Feb. 17, 2005. She was found guilty following a jury trial July 25, 2008. She was sentenced Feb. 6.

According to the indictment, and evidence presented during her trial, Edwards worked as a real estate agent doing business as “Affable Realty,” which was in Aurora. She used her business to further her mortgage fraud.

Starting in March 1999 through July 2004, Edwards, aided and abetted by others, devised a scheme to defraud and to obtain money and property by means of fraudulent representations and promises from mortgage companies that funded federally insured loans, according to the indictment.

As part of the scheme, Edwards and others working with her would locate people who wanted to buy a home, but were unable to qualify for a mortgage using the buyers’ accurate credit history, income and employment, and other financial information.

Edwards and her co-workers would assist buyers who could not qualify for a legitimate mortgage loan, by obtaining a false Social Security number for the buyer, or creating a false W-2, or by creating false verifications of rent or employment.

“It’s pretty simple. She assisted in implementing a complex mortgage fraud scheme and now she is going to prison,” said Christopher Sigerson, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office in a statement. “IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to identifying and pursuing individuals who through callous greed have contributed to the decline of our economy.”

A new Housing Bill that rewrote the law on Federal Housing Administration fraud now carries penalties of 30 years and $1 million in fines, according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban and Development’s inspector general.

“Mortgage fraud has weakened the stability of the housing market,” said acting U.S. Attorney David Gaouette in a written statement. “During these difficult economic times, the citizens of Colorado and the nation must have confidence in the financial marketplace. Those who perpetrate this crime must be held accountable.”

This case was investigated by the HUD inspector general, and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

The case was prosecuted by assistant U.S. Attorneys Patricia Davies and Matthew Kirsch.


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