Houston Man Lands 10-Year Prison Term for Fraud Scheme

November 19, 2008

Revis Otto Willis, 48, of Houston, a former mortgage broker, has been sentenced to 10 years in federal prison without parole for his leadership role in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme, acting United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced.

United States District Judge Nancy F. Atlas imposed the 121-month sentence to be followed by a three-year-term of supervised release at a hearing today. Willis was convicted of wire fraud after pleading guilty Sept. 18, 2007.

Willis was a mortgage broker licensed by the Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending and owned and operated Advanced Mortgage Services located at 2600 block of Fountainview in Houston. Between October 2004 through May 2008, Willis recruited straw buyers to make false statements about their income and employment and bank account balances on loan applications to purchase residential properties for sale in the Houston area. Willis encouraged the buyers to apply for mortgages in amounts greater than the actual sales price of the home.

The loan applications containing the false statements were submitted to various financial institutions that traded mortgages on the secondary market. The difference between the actual sales price of the residence and the exaggerated loan amount was divided among Willis and others involved in the fraud scheme. Almost all of the loans secured as part of the scheme were defaulted upon and ultimately resulted in foreclosures. In assessing sentence, the court found Willis was a leader/organizer of the illegal fraud scheme and held him responsible for losses totaling approximately $2 million involving 21 different residences.

Willis has been in federal custody since May 8, 2007, and will remain in custody to serve his sentence.

Willis’ assistant, Willie Carson III, 39, of Houston, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in the scheme. He was sentenced May 2008 by Judge Atlas to a year and a day in federal prison.

The charges against Willis and Carson are the result of an 18-month investigation conducted by special agents of the United States Secret Service. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jay Hileman.

Source: United States Attorney’s Office

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