Mortgage scammer Lee Farkas out of prison after serving 9 years


A U.S. judge ordered the compassionate release of Taylor, former Bean & Whitaker Chairman and CEO Lee Farkas, due to susceptibility to COVID-19 transmission in prison. Farkas ran a mortgage fraud scheme from 2002 until the real estate crisis of 2009.

Altogether, Farkas and his co-conspirators embezzled $ 2.9 billion in funds – $ 1.5 billion from Ocala Funding and $ 1.4 billion from Colonial Bank Warehouse Division, two entities controlled by TBW at that time.

To cover the more than $ 100 million in overdrafts, TBW sold sets of bogus loans, bogus mortgage assets and loans it has already sold to other investors to the two subsidiaries, according to court documents.

TBW closed in August 2009, leaving some 2,000 people unemployed. Ocala sputtered and filed for bankruptcy in 2011, while Colonial closed on August 14, 2009 and It came under the control of the FDIC. Then PwC was found negligent in your auditsColonial Bank and was obligated to pay $ 625 million in damages.

Farkas was tried and convicted on 14 counts of fraud and sentenced to 30 years in prison in 2011. The other TBW executives involved pleaded guilty and received sentences ranging from three months to eight years.

District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, who oversaw the original trial in 2011, declared the outbreak of coronavirus cases at Coleman’s low-security prison in Wildwood, Florida, where Farkas was detained, along with his age and problems. of health. sufficient reason to justify an early release.

When faced with opposition from the prosecution, Brinkema said in her decision that she was “not at all concerned about the breach of the interests of justice.” She noted that, “Yes, it was a major financial crime, but he was not the only person involved in that type of crime,” according to the Orlando Sentinel. Farkas will have to be quarantined for two weeks before being sent to live in the custody of his sister in Albuquerque, NM.

“I think it’s great that Lee obtained early release,” Bruce Rogow, the attorney who represented Farkas in 2011, said in a statement to National Mortgage News. “His sentence was the consequence of a bad economic moment in the country and he deserves to be free again.”

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