Tuesday, October 14, 2008


The United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of Texas
News Release from October 9, 2008


HOUSTON – A federal grand jury sitting in Houston has indicted five individuals in a 12-count indictment with devising a scheme to defraud residential mortgage lenders by misstating facts relevant to the lending decisions, U.S. Attorney Don DeGabrielle, FBI Houston Special Agent-in-Charge Andrew R. Bland III and Rodney E. Clarke, Special Agent-In-Charge of the Houston office of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division (IRS-CI), announced today.

The indictment alleges that Anthony Wayne Hawkins, 48, Brandon Alonzo Crenshaw, 27, Nehemiah Jamal Douglas, 28, Babette Jammer, 47, and David Vasser, 59, engaged in a mail and wire fraud conspiracy which resulted in the defendants and their co-conspirators fraudulently obtaining more than $17 million in loan proceeds. The defendants and their co-conspirators are accused of recruiting individuals to purchase residential properties with the intent to deceive mortgage lenders concerning the borrower’s ability and incentive to repay the loans. According to the indictment, falsified documents were prepared and provided to the mortgage lenders to support loan applications.

“Those who seek to take advantage of the American Dream of home ownership and those who prey upon others in these dire economic times will most certainly be held accountable,” U.S. Attorney DeGabrielle said.

“The FBI remains committed to continuing its efforts to vigorously address mortgage fraud and ensure that the strength and integrity of the nation's financial sector are sustained,” said Bland. “Moreover, it is imperative that those who engage in this pernicious crime, and thereby undermine the economic vitality of our communities, are held fully accountable for their actions.”

“Mortgage fraud, like all financial crimes, threatens the overall health of our financial institutions and erodes the integrity of our tax system,” Clarke said. “Additionally, these types of crimes drive buyers into foreclosure, leave lenders burdened with bad loans and neighborhoods with abandoned and deteriorating properties. IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to working with its law enforcement partners to pursue individuals who commit these types of crimes.”

All five defendants have been arrested by special agents of the FBI and IRS-CI and are expected to appear before a U.S. Magistrate Judge at 2:00 p.m. today. Count one, charging conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and counts two through six, alleging wire fraud, each carry a possible maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Hawkins, Crenshaw, Douglas and Vasser are also charged in counts seven through twelve with engaging in monetary transactions with the proceeds of the scheme and the conspiracy to do so. The indictment alleges that bank accounts were opened in business entity names to deposit and transfer the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds. The maximum possible penalty for a conviction under counts seven through twelve is 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation being conducted by agents of the FBI and IRS-CI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa Annis is prosecuting the case.

An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

Taken from the FBI.gov website

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