Local News

Group of Triangle real estate professionals sentenced in mortgage fraud scheme

Posted October 28, 2014 9:16 p.m. EDT
Updated October 28, 2014 9:45 p.m. EDT

— A group of Triangle real estate professionals, including brokers and developers, were sentenced in federal court Monday and Tuesday for mortgage fraud.

The group was convicted of using phony purchases of properties through "straw buyers" to secure mortgage loan disbursements exceeding $20 million and $5 million in loan proceeds between 2003 and 2009. The group is accused of using the buyers' credit to obtain the loans in exchange for a kickback and a promise that rental income from the properties would pay the mortgages and the buyers would never pay a cent.

Losses on the properties, which fell into foreclosure when the housing market collapsed in 2008 and mortgage payments on the properties ceased, exceed $1 million, authorities said.

“Mortgage fraud impacts the financial stability of our country’s housing markets,” John Strong, special agent in charge of the FBI in North Carolina, said in a statement. “These individuals manipulated programs that make it possible for others to live the American dream of owning their own homes.”

The following people were convicted and sentenced in the scheme:

  • Developer Vincent Maldini, 46, of Seabright, N.J., received five years in prison, five years probation and must pay $667,859 in restitution.
  • Developer Ricky Lamont Congleton, 43, of Zebulon, received 5.5 years in prison, five years probation and must pay $4.3 million in fines and restitution.
  • Mortgage broker Dexter Tirrell Jones, 42, of Raleigh, received 2.5 years in prison, five years probation and must pay $1.3 million in restitution.
  • Closing attorney Phillip Graham Rose, 42, of Raleigh, received 3.5 years in prison, five years probation and must pay $1.5 million in restitution.
  • Developer Johnny Ray Peele, 43, of Wake Forest, received 2.5 years in prison, five years probation and must pay $728,244 in restitution.
  • Developer Dwayne Thomas Hall, 49, of Wake Forest, received 3.25 years in prison, three years probation and must pay $1.2 million in restitution. In addition, $7.2 million in cash proceeds were forfeited.
  • Real estate broker Treshell Mayo Herndon, 39, of Raleigh, received 2.75 years in prison, five years probation and must pay $1 million in restitution “as well as the criminal forfeiture of several million dollars in gross criminal proceeds,” prosecutors said in a statement.
  • Straw buyer Joseph Carl Hollis, 35, of Raleigh, received five years probation, including 18 months on house arrests, and must pay $198,500 in restitution.