After a 10 day trial, a federal jury this week convicted a NC real estate agent and a long processor on every charge pertaining to a $75 million racketeering conspiracy. This was announced by the US Attorney Office For the Western District of North Carolina. The convictions that came this week are the very latest in Operation Wax House, which is an investigation that started in 2007. It so far has captured 91 defendants, and 80 of them pleaded guilty after trial.
Denetria Myles, also of Charlotte, was a loan processor and a notary public in the state. She also was convicted on all charges, including bank fraud.
The federal criminal trial started Oct. 15, before US District Judge Graham Mullen. Evidence that was introduced at trial showed that the criminal enterprise worked from 2005-12. The company engaged in a broad array of racketeering, which included securities fraud, mortgage fraud, wire fraud and money laundering.
According to evidence given at trial, Wolf and Myles worked in extensive mortgage fraud operations. They together got more than $13 million in loans that were fraudulent. Witnesses stated that Wolf had builders pretend to sell their real estate at a greatly inflated price to get a higher loan from a bank. The builders really accepted the lower, real price. Then Wolf had the difference between the two prices to be paid from the loan proceed as a kickback. The kickbacks were done through fake companies and were made to look like payments for work that was done on the properties.
The work was not done, and the kickbacks were actually payments to promoters and buyers to help keep the fraud going.
Myles was one of the promoters of the business, and worked with Nazerre Saddig to buy a luxury house so that Myles could get a kickback of $100,000 that was made to look like a payment for upgrades that were not done. Trial evidence showed that Myles bought one of the homes in her name so she could get a kickback of $80,000. Myles also engaged in ID theft of a victim whose information was used to buy two houses over $1 million in value. Myles falsely notarized that the victim signed the loan documents.
After the conviction, both of the defendants agreed to forfeit an undisclosed sum and were both released on bond, pending their sentencing. Wolf faces 70 years in prison, and Myles faces 50 years in prison. To determine the sentences, the court will look at the US Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding, but they do provide a range to be considered by the judge.
A total of 26 defendants have been charged in this case, and two of them are international fugitives.