A pair of former Myrtle Beach area real estate agents and a property investor were sentenced this week in federal court for their roles in widespread mortgage fraud schemes that helped lead to the decline of this area’s real estate market.
Scott Lemons, a former real estate agent, will spend 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release after pleading guilty to one felony charge of mail fraud. Kevin Robinson, a property investor and co-defendant in the case, also pleaded guilty to mail fraud and was sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release. Judge Terry Wooten also ordered the men to pay a combined $982,933 in restitution to banks at the rate of $700 per month starting 30 days after their release from prison.
In a separate case, former real estate agent James Michael Green was sentenced to 21 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release after he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Green helped arrange loans that included false information and then paid himself and co-conspirators from mortgage proceeds, according to court documents. The payments to Green and others were not disclosed on real estate settlement documents.
Judge Bryan Harwell also ordered Green to pay nearly $2.3 million in restitution to RBC Bank at the rate of $500 per month starting 30 days after his release from prison.
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Lemons was the owner of three companies – Gold Coast Resorts, S&L Funding and East Coast Resorts – that were engaged in real estate speculation at Ashley Park while Robinson owned a real estate investment company, according to an indictment in the case. Prosecutors say Lemons and Robinson inflated comparable values of condos in Ashley Park to make it appear to banks as if the ones they were selling were worth more money than their true value.
The two men also falsified employment and income information on buyers’ loan applications and told banks that buyers had made deposits on the condos when no deposits were made, the indictment states. Prosecutors say Lemons and Robinson split the excess proceeds from loans for three Ashley Park units.