United States Attorney William N. Nettles announced that Gary Albert Hager of North Myrtle Beach, S.C. has plead guilty in federal court in Florence, S.C. to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, a violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349. United States District Judge Terry L. Wooten accepted the plea and will impose sentence after he has reviewed the presentence report which will be prepared by the U.S. Probation Office.
Evidence presented at the change of plea hearing established that Hager was employed as a loan officer for JP Morgan Chase Bank in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Hager became acquainted with Jeremy Eason, a mortgage broker employed by Dunes Mortgage. Eason arranged for the separate sale of four properties in the Myrtle Beach area. The sales generated mortgage loans submitted by Hager in the amount of $3.3 million to JP Morgan Chase and Plantation Federal. The loan packages contained applications with false information, false HUD-1 Settlement Statements, as well as inflated appraisals. By fraudulently representing to the banks that the properties were valued at more than their actual value, the banks lent excessive funds. Hager and others were then able to receive excess proceeds at closing to divide amongst themselves, unbeknownst to the banks. Hager received approximately $25,000 in kickbacks from Eason from August to October 2008.
Nettles has stated that the maximum penalty Hager can receive is a fine of $1 million and/or imprisonment for 30 years, plus a special assessment of $100. The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Assistant United States Attorney William E. Day II of the Florence office handled the case.
For more information, visit http://columbia.fbi.gov.