Husband and Wife, Aaron Michael Hymas and Tiffany Kim Hymas, Plead Guilty to Wire Fraud

October 19, 2012

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on October 18, 2012 released the following:

Part of Ongoing Crestwood Mortgage Fraud

BOISE— Aaron Michael Hymas, 38, and Tiffany Kim Hymas, 37, former Treasure Valley residents now living in Bountiful, Utah, pled guilty today in United States District Court in Boise to one count of wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced.

According to the plea agreements, the defendants admitted that on March 28, 2007, they schemed to defraud a lender by having Tiffany Hymas submit a residential loan application for $295,600, wherein she misrepresented that she was employed by OPM Enterprises with 2.6 years on the job; that she had income and commissions of $72,500 per month; and that she had gross rental income of $14,600 per month from four properties located in Meridian, Nampa, and Boise. Based on these misrepresentations, the loan was funded by Taylor, Bean, and Whitaker Mortgage Corporation. The defendants admitted that Tiffany Hymas’ statements were false and material to the loan application and that they knew the statements were false at the time she made them.

The defendants face up to 20 years in prison, a maximum fine of $250,000, and up to three years of supervised release. Sentencing is set for January 14, 2013, before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Boise.

“False statements to banks and lenders in order to obtain home loans have undermined the integrity of our nation’s housing financing system,” said Olson. “These pleas move us closer to the conclusion of the long term investigation into the mortgage activities of those associated with Crestwood Homes. Federal and state law enforcement agencies and prosecutors in the District of Idaho are committed to working together to ensure that those who fraudulently obtain home loans for personal gain are punished.”

In a related case, sentencing is set for October 25-26, 2012, for Travis Richard Hymas, 29, of Cedar Hills, Utah, formerly of Meridian, Idaho. A federal jury convicted Hymas on June 22 on five counts of wire fraud related to mortgage fraud. During the eight-day trial, the jury heard evidence that between November 2006 and March 2007, Hymas defrauded five lenders on nine residential loans valued at approximately $1.7 million. According to court documents, Travis and his wife Season filed a bankruptcy petition on July 17, 2008, in United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Idaho. On March 19, 2009, a substantial amount of the debt they owed on the fraudulent loans was discharged by the bankruptcy proceeding. Season Hymas is set for trial in Boise on November 13.

The cases are part of an investigation of mortgage fraud activity related to Crestwood, which involved multiple defendants who bought and sold real estate in order to “flip” it, or gain profits from the sales. The financial institutions and mortgage lenders incurred substantial losses on the loan transactions.

To date, nine people have been sentenced in related cases, including Michael J. Hymas, Shauntee K. Ferguson, Christopher R. Georgeson, Stanley J. Ferguson, Brent Bethers, Shane Merlin Hymas, Laurie Krechelle Hymas, Melody C. Redondo, and Paul Redondo.

The cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, with assistance provided by the Office of the United States Trustee and the Idaho Department of Insurance. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Idaho and the State of Idaho, Office of the Attorney General.

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit http://www.stopfraud.gov.”

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Douglas McNabb – McNabb Associates, P.C.’s
Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys Videos:

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To find additional federal criminal news, please read Federal Criminal Defense Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write and/or report extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition Defense, OFAC SDN Sanctions Removal, International Criminal Court Defense, and US Seizure of Non-Resident, Foreign-Owned Assets. Because we have experience dealing with INTERPOL, our firm understands the inter-relationship that INTERPOL’s “Red Notice” brings to this equation.

The author of this blog is Douglas C. McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.


Douglas J. Fitzgerald Sentenced by a Chief U.S. Federal Judge for Tax Evasion

July 17, 2011

The U.S. Attorney’s Office District of Idaho on July 15, 2011 released the following:

“Former Eagle Businessman Sentenced To 51 Months For Tax Evasion

BOISE – Douglas J. Fitzgerald, 69, formerly of Eagle, Idaho, was sentenced yesterday to 51 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for attempting to evade income tax, U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced. Chief U.S. District Judge B. Lynn Winmill also ordered Fitzgerald to pay $308,912 in restitution to the Internal Revenue Service and perform 100 hours of community service. Fitzgerald pleaded guilty to the charge in February 2011.

According to the plea agreement, Fitzgerald filed false tax returns that omitted the income from the sale of his business’ assets and from the sale of real property. In the plea agreement, Fitzgerald admitted that he failed to report over $1 million in income and evaded payment of taxes totaling $308,912, for tax years 1999 through 2003 and 2005. Fitzgerald used nominee entities to conceal this income. Specifically, he titled the stock in his business and titled his real estate in two entities formed as Nevada corporations sole, which are state entities designed for use by church officials. Fitzgerald called one corporation sole “the Office of the First presiding Patriarch (Overseer), a corporation sole, over/for The Fellowship Society (an unincorporated religious Scriptural society, in the nature of Ecclesia).” He formed a second similarly named corporation sole over “Paradise Flats Society.” Fitzgerald used the Fellowship Society and Paradise Flats Society, as purported religious or charitable institutions, to conceal his income from the sale of his business and from the sale of real property. Fitzgerald claimed that the income went to these purported religious entities, despite the fact that he directed the transactions maintained control of the income, and benefitted personally from it.

Fitzgerald also admitted that in one instance, he directed the proceeds of a real estate sale to another company, Moscow Combined Investments, and used the proceeds to purchase a house for his daughter. Fitzgerald also directed several hundred thousand dollars to a bank account in his wife’s name in the Philippines. He eventually moved to the Philippines but was returned to the United States after he was indicted.

In 1998 Fitzgerald was convicted of filing false claims for tax refunds and mail fraud, after which he served 30 months in prison.

“Paying taxes is a solemn obligation of citizenship,” said Olson. “Those who hide income and evade taxes undermine our democracy. Mr. Fitzgerald has now twice been convicted of tax crimes. This significant sentence is appropriate. I commend the IRS enforcement agents and federal prosecutors who patiently pursued justice in this case.”

The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division.”

To find additional federal criminal news, please read The Federal Crimes Watch Daily.

Douglas McNabb and other members of the U.S. law firm practice and write extensively on matters involving Federal Criminal Defense, INTERPOL Red Notice Removal, International Extradition and OFAC SDN List Removal.

The author of this blog is Douglas McNabb. Please feel free to contact him directly at mcnabb@mcnabbassociates.com or at one of the offices listed above.

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