Fraudulently Sold and Mortgaged Houses Conspirators Did Not Own
Theo Gerome Myers, age 54, of Ft. Washington, Maryland, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for conspiracy to commit identity theft, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland, Rod J. Rosenstein. He also was ordered to pay restitution of $50,000.
According to the statement of facts presented at his guilty plea on October 25, 2005, Myers and others sought to enrich themselves by fabricating and filing deeds that transferred title to real estate in Maryland and the District of Columbia from the rightful owners to names of persons whose identities they stole or created. Their plan was to reap the proceeds of the fraudulent transfers in one of two ways. They attempted to sell real estate they did not own to unsuspecting buyers, or to fabricate purchases of the real estate in the names of persons whose identities had been stolen, and then secure financing from unsuspecting lenders in the names of the stolen identities.
To that end, they filed various fabricated deeds with the government in the District of Columbia and Prince Georges County. In one case, on July 17, 2003, a fabricated deed for 605 P Street, Northwest, Washington, D.C., was filed with the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds purporting to transfer title from the rightful owner to a person purportedly named Cotton. After fraudulently transferring 605 P Street, the conspirators sold the real estate to an unsuspecting buyer for more than $128,000. To that end, on November 10, 2003, two co-conspirators traveled to a title company in Bladensburg, Maryland, for the settlement of 605 P Street. One successfully used a fraudulent drivers license to impersonate the purported owner during the settlement. The unsuspecting purchaser then paid more than $128,000 for the property. Several days later, Myers deposited part of the proceeds of the sale a check in the amount of $50,000 into a bank account he controlled.
In other cases, Myers and his co-conspirators attempted to reap the proceeds from the fraudulent transfers by fabricating the subsequent purchases of the transferred real estate. Then they would obtain financing for the sales using a stolen identity with a favorable credit history. To obtain financing for the fabricated purchases, a conspirator acquired identifying information of several other individuals without their knowledge or authorization, including the names, social security numbers, and dates of birth of individuals residing in California from a credit reporting agency in Baltimore, Maryland. Myers and his co-conspirators planned to use the stolen identities to prepare bogus sales agreements and loan applications for the fraudulently transferred properties to defraud lenders of more than $1 million.