Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge George Jerrod Hazel sentenced Carmen Johnson, age 48, of Gambrills, Maryland, late yesterday to 57 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiracy, wire fraud and making a false statement on a loan application, arising from two residential mortgage fraud schemes. Judge Hazel also entered an order that Johnson pay $2,315,660.94 in restitution.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Cary A. Rubenstein of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Rene Febles of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General; Acting Special Agent in Charge James Murray of the United States Secret Service – Washington Field Office; John L. Phillips, Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, U.S. Department of the Treasury – Office of Inspector General; and Acting Special Agent in Charge Ivan Arvelo of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
According to the evidence presented at her seven day trial, in the first scheme, which operated from March 2007 to November 2008, Johnson conspired with real estate agent Edgar Tibakweitira and others to fraudulently obtain residential mortgage loans by making false statements during the loan application and approval process. In the second scheme, witnesses testified that between April and July 2008 Johnson conspired with real estate agent Nsane Phanuel Ligate and others in a similar mortgage fraud scheme involving two properties in Baltimore.
Johnson owned and operated CJ Lending and its predecessor Able Estate & Company, which provided credit repair services. Witnesses testified that in both schemes Carmen Johnson reported to credit bureaus and provided her fellow co-conspirators with false credit histories showing backdated lines of credit that were used to convince lenders to give mortgage loans. As part of both schemes, Johnson’s co-conspirators used stolen or false identity information, false documents – including W-2 forms, earnings and banks statements – and false credit information to induce lenders to provide mortgage loans to straw purchasers. Johnson’s co-conspirators also inflated the sales prices of the properties by creating false documents for repairs and renovations that were never made. After the settlement, the conspirators divided up the cash received for the purported repairs.
As a result of both schemes, losses to financial institutions totaled $2,309,646.
Co-conspirators Edgar Tibakweitira, a/k/a “Edgar Julian,” “Charles Edgar Tibakweitira,” and “Edgar Gaudious Tibakweitira,” age 46, of Severn, Maryland, Flavia Makundi, age 42, of Severn Park, Maryland, Ayoub Luziga, age 35, of Bowie, Maryland, Raymond Abraham, age 48, of Silver Spring, Maryland, Mokorya Cosmas Wambura, age 42, of Takoma Park, Maryland, Abdallah Suleiman Kitwara, age 44, of Bowie, Maryland, have pleaded guilty to their roles in the first scheme. Tibakweitira was sentenced to 57 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $2,482,856.05. Luziga was sentenced to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $999,726. Kitwara was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay $290,954 in restitution. Abraham was sentenced to 33 months in prison and ordered to pay $999,726 in restitution. Annika Boas, age 37, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, was convicted after trial and sentenced to 27 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $511,147. Makundi was sentenced to time served.
>>> Read more