Clarence Lewis III, 46, of Houston, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison without parole for running a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Tim Johnson has announced. United States District Judge Lynn N. Hughes handed down the prison sentence at a hearing on Nov. 10. Lewis was convicted May 13, 2009, of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud by Judge Hughes following a bench trial before Judge Hughes. The United States proved that as part of a conspiracy, Lewis obtained more than $12 million in fraudulent residential mortgage loans during the course of his five-year mortgage fraud scheme beginning in 2002.
Lewis held both a mortgage broker’s license and real estate broker’s license which he used in the execution of his scheme to defraud. Motown Mortgage Group and Lewis and Associates Realtors were the entities under which Lewis operated. In addition, he used an assumed name business—Astro Construction—to extract loan proceeds from the real estate closings. The loans on the majority of the properties obtained by fraud fell into default and the properties were foreclosed.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Hughes ordered Lewis to pay restitution, the amount of which will be entered early next year, and to serve a three-year-term of supervised release. Lewis has been in federal custody without bond following his conviction on May 13, 2009, and will remain in custody to serve his sentence.
The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by agents of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.
For more information, visit http://houston.fbi.gov.