A fourth person has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Lexington in connection with a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scam.
Jeffrey A. Singleton pleaded guilty on Friday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of a plea agreement.
According to court documents, Singleton was a bank loan officer who along with John Howard, 43, of Richmond, a former mortgage loan officer and broker, provided false information in getting a mortgage loan for a house Singleton was buying in October 2007. They convinced a lender, Michigan Mutual Inc., that a property at 512 Euclid Ave. was worth $225,000, when it was actually worth $150,000. Singleton also lied when he claimed that he planned to use the house as his primary residence, according to the plea agreement.
In November 2007, both men separately bought a house in Richmond that Howard intended to occupy but which Singleton falsely claimed that he, not Howard, planned to live in.
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Singleton got a $416,000 loan from Countrywide Bank by telling the lender that he was buying the Imperial Lakes house for $520,000 and was making an $80,000 down payment. Singleton made no such payment, and the actual sale price of the home was $294,000. Because Howard made improvements to the home, it is now valued at $475,000, the plea agreement states.
In December 2008, the men helped someone else get fraudulent financing for property Singleton owned in Stanford, according to the agreement.
To get that loan approved by Republic State Mortgage, Singleton gave the buyer $8,800 but claimed it was a gift from the buyer's sister. The false gift caused the lender to be undersecured and exposed the lender to potential loss, the court documents state.
Howard, who owns Campus Downs Real Estate, admitted in May to fraudulently obtaining $2.9 million in mortgage loans. He admitted getting 11 loans for five Lexington properties by lying on loan applications and manipulating the filing of liens.
He said he used those tactics to keep lenders from finding out he had borrowed money from other lenders on the same properties, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in May.
Also this month, Howard was sentenced to 12 months in prison with three years of supervised release.
Kevin Mullins, 40, of Richmond, who is former head of Republic State Mortgage's Central Kentucky lending operations, received four years' probation. Brenda C. Stone, 55, of Versailles, a former processor at Republic State Mortgage, was put on probation for a year.
Singleton is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 18.