Former Iowa resident Christina M. Pender and California resident Robert K. Taylor have pled guilty to defrauding insurance company AIG out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa announced.
Taylor also pled guilty to making false statements to a financial institution involving a mortgage fraud scheme in California.
Pender pled guilty on April 17, 2014, and Taylor pled guilty on August 27, 2014. The two were indicted in Iowa in May 2013 for wire fraud.
From approximately April 1, 2010, to January 5, 2011, Pender and Taylor perpetrated a scheme whereby Pender, then an AIG insurance adjuster located in West Des Moines, Iowa, approved payments to companies owned by Taylor for expert services that were never provided, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
Taylor’s companies were based in California, where he resided, and included TEI Group Associates Inc., TEI Group Inc., and Equitable Consulting Solutions.
Pender also approved payments for expert services that were not provided to another Iowa-based company, MDP Group, which was owned, in part, by her then-boyfriend. All of the alleged services were supposed to be for consulting in furtherance of AIG’s handling of construction defect claims that were in litigation.
In total, Pender admitted that she approved approximately $925,406 in payments by AIG for services that were not provided. Taylor received $666,128.98 of those payments.
During the pendency of the prosecution for wire fraud, the government discovered that Taylor was also part of a mortgage fraud scheme in California.
From approximately December 2005 through April 2006, Taylor applied for and received mortgage loans and lines of credit that he used for the purchase and refinance of several real properties in Kingsburg, Calif. Prosecutors said Taylor used a fake social security number in an effort to influence the approval and funding of the loans.
He ultimately defaulted on his payment obligations, and the Kingsburg properties were foreclosed. Then, on Nov. 20, 2012, Taylor subsequently filed a petition for bankruptcy using the fraudulent social security number. As a result of the fraud, losses to lending institutions, including Countrywide Bank, totaled $326,100. Taylor pled guilty to charges of making false statements to a financial institution.
Pender faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. Taylor faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.
The wire fraud case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa.The case involving false statements to a financial institution was investigated by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation—Office of Inspector General and prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Offices for the Eastern District of California and the Southern District of Iowa.
Source: United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Iowa
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