Tammy Jones, also known as “Tammy Taylor,” 53, of Upper Marlboro, Maryland, pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme yesterday.
Tammy Jones , according to her guilty plea, purchased a home in Brandywine, Maryland, in May 2011. Jones obtained a $360,660 mortgage from Lender 1 to finance the purchase of the home, which was backed by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).
Tammy Jones sought and received a loan modification for her FHA-insured mortgage in 2017 through the HUD Partial Claim Program, which is a loan modification programme for FHA-insured mortgages. HUD works with the Partial Claim Program to restructure the borrower’s mortgage payments using a partial claim, allowing the borrower to remain in the home.
A lender submits a “partial claim” to Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for a portion of the outstanding mortgage balance, and HUD pays the lender on the borrower’s behalf for that portion of the mortgage. In exchange, HUD receives a security interest in the property for the amount of the loan balance, and the borrower agrees to repay HUD for the amount of the partial claim.
As a result, the lender is effectively “made whole” by HUD’s partial claim payment. When the borrower sells the house, he or she is ultimately liable for the balance of the partial claim to remove the HUD lien.
According to Tammy Jones plea agreement, Jones sought and received a loan modification for her Brandywine, Maryland home through the HUD Partial Claim Program in or around June 2017. HUD made a partial claim payment of $111,377.12 to Servicer 1 (who serviced Jones’ FHA-insured mortgage) on Jones’ behalf.
Tammy Jones agreed to grant HUD a security interest in the Brandywine, Maryland property for $111,377.12, the amount of HUD’s partial claim payment. She also entered into a loan modification agreement with the mortgage lender, in which he agreed to make monthly payments of $2,564.96 and owed $352,151.01 in principal.
She attempted to sell the Brandywine, Maryland property for $429,900 in 2018. Employees of a settlement company sought proof that Jones’s lien from HUD and the FHA had been released in order to close the sale of the property.
The lien had not, in fact, been released. Tammy Jones then used false and fraudulent documents to make it appear as if the lien had been released, facilitating the sale of the Brandywine, Maryland home as part of the scheme.
Jones, in particular, set up a bogus email account, claiming to be an employee of a company contracted by HUD to service loans on its behalf. She, posing as a HUD contractor employee, informed a settlement company employee that the lien on the Brandywine, Maryland home had been released, and Jones created and attached a bogus lien release document.
Tammy Jones then continued to contact the settlement company while posing as a HUD contractor employee. Jones also submitted a forged Certificate of Satisfaction to the settlement company, allowing the property in Brandywine, Maryland, to be sold on or about October 19, 2018.
The induvial who purchased the home from Jones was notified of the outstanding lien on the property in 2019 after the sale of the Brandywine, Maryland property closed. Jones falsified documents and fraudulently posed as an employee of the HUD contractor in order to further her scheme to defraud HUD, according to the investigation.
Jones caused a net loss of $111,377.12 to HUD, which represents the partial claim paid on Jones’ behalf in September 2017. She will be required to pay $111,377.12 in restitution as part of her plea agreement.
For wire fraud, Tammy Jones faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by up to three years of supervised release. Theodore D. Chuang, United States District Judge, has scheduled sentencing for May 20, 2022, at 2:30 p.m.
United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron and Special Agent in Charge Bertrand Nelson of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General announced the guilty plea.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron praised HUD-efforts OIG’s in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked the case’s prosecutor, Assistant U.S. Attorney Caitlin R. Cottingham.