Dallas man convicted of mortgage fraud offenses; 6 charges related to tax fraud still pending

Dallas man convicted of mortgage fraud offenses; 6 charges related to tax fraud still pending

DALLAS – (RealEstateRama) — A federal jury on Thursday convicted a Dallas man of six counts related to a mortgage fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.

This investigation was led by the Internal Revenue Service’s (IRS) Criminal Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) assisted.

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Specifically, Chukwuma Jonas Osuagwu, 45, of Dallas, was convicted of five counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud following a seven-day jury trial before U.S. District Judge Ed Kinkeade. Osuagwu faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in federal prison and a $1 million fine for each count of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Osuagwu will remain in custody pending sentencing.

Osuagwu was charged along with codefendant, James W. Mitchell, 36, of Boston, in a 12-count indictment in August 2016 with tax and mortgage fraud offenses. Mitchell pleaded guilty in November 2016 to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Mitchell faces a maximum penalty of not more than five years and a $250,000 fine. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 11.

The five counts of tax fraud and one count of tax obstruction Osuagwu was charged with in the August 2016 indictment are still pending.

According to evidence presented at trial, starting in September 2006 and continuing for more than a year, Osuagwu engaged in a series of fraudulent real estate transactions in which he either personally purchased or sold to one or more straw purchasers or co-conspirators three residential condominium units on Hood Street in Dallas. Osuagwu was able to personally purchase, or assist others in purchasing multiple residential condominium units only by submitting, or causing to be submitted on behalf of others, false, fraudulent and fictitious statements, documents and representations. Fraudulent documents submitted included, false bank statements, employment letters, false IRS W-2 statements or false paystubs indicating the purchaser worked for Osuagwu’s company, Inforation Inc. These documents caused one or more financial institutions, including Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase Bank and Wells Fargo Bank, to issue a mortgage loan they otherwise would not have issued.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Adrienne Frazior and J. Nicholas Bunch, Northern District of Texas, are in charge of the prosecution.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) enforces federal laws governing border control, customs, trade and immigration to promote homeland security and public safety. ICE was created in 2003 through a merger of the investigative and interior enforcement elements of the former U.S. Customs Service and the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

ICE now has more than 20,000 employees in more than 400 offices in the United States and 46 foreign countries. The agency has an annual budget of approximately $6 billion, primarily devoted to two operational directorates — Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI). These two operational directorates are supported by Management and Administration (M&A) and Office of the Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA) to advance the ICE mission.

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