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Sunday, April 16, 2017

District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges In Bank Fraud Scheme

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, April 12, 2017

District Man Pleads Guilty to Federal Charges In Bank Fraud Scheme

Admits Filing Forged Documents, Leading to Nearly $340,000 in Ill-Gotten Gains

            WASHINGTON – David Tyrone Johnson, 48, of Washington, D.C., pled guilty today to federal charges of bank fraud and making false statements, arising from a real estate scheme involving a forged mortgage satisfaction document, announced U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips and Andrew Vale, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

            Johnson pled guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Under federal sentencing guidelines, Johnson faces an estimated range of 24 to 30 months in prison as well as a fine of up to $95,000. Under the plea agreement, Johnson also must pay more than $337,000 in restitution to SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. He also is subject to a forfeiture money judgment of $170,688. The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson scheduled sentencing for July 13, 2017.

            According to a statement of offense, signed by the defendant as well as the government, signed by the defendant as well as the government, SunTrust Mortgage, Inc. loaned a friend of Johnson’s approximately $470,000 in 2008 to purchase residential real estate in the 100 block of 57th Street SE. By 2009, the friend had failed to repay the mortgage loans, and in 2010, SunTrust Mortgage filed a notice of foreclosure with the District of Columbia’s Recorder of Deeds. In April 2013, SunTrust Mortgage began the process of foreclosing on the mortgage and taking possession of the property, due to the friend’s failure to make good and timely payments on the mortgage loans.

            Sometime before Oct. 2, 2013, Johnson caused the creation of two phony and forged certificates of satisfaction, which falsely represented that the SunTrust Mortgage loans at the property on 57th Street SE had been paid and that his friend owned the property “free and clear.” According to the statement of offense, on Oct. 2, 2013, Johnson filed these two phony certificates of satisfaction with the Recorder of Deeds.

            In or about December 2013, after the fake certificates of satisfaction allowed the friend to sell the property without paying the outstanding mortgages, the title and escrow company wired out the sales proceeds of $337,105, of which approximately $170,688 was obtained by Johnson.

            In addition, in 2015, Johnson was required to submit a financial disclosure form to his government agency employer; however, on that form, Johnson failed to disclose the money he obtained from the sales proceeds of the property, knowing that he had obtained the money. This failure to inform his government agency employer was material or important to his employer, and one that resulted in a false statement on his financial disclosure form.

            Johnson was indicted in August 2016 and had been due to stand trial next month.

            In announcing the guilty plea, U.S. Attorney Phillips and Assistant Director in Charge Vale expressed appreciation for the work performed by those who investigated the case and assisted in preparing it for trial from the FBI, including the Washington Field Office and the FBI Laboratory. They also acknowledged the efforts of those working on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Paralegal Specialist Christopher Toms; former Paralegal Specialists Corinne Kleinman and Kaitlyn Krueger; Litigation Tech Specialist Ron Royal, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Swanton, who is assisting with forfeiture issues. Finally, they commended the work of Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Cheatham who is prosecuting the case.

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