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North Myrtle Beach man pleads guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud

A North Myrtle Beach man pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud today in federal court in Florence.

U.S. Attorney William N. Nettles said 58-year-old Albert Hagar, pleaded guilty and will be sentenced later.

Prosecutors said the Hager, while working as a loan officer for J. P. Morgan Chase Bank in Myrtle Beach, SC., arranged with a mortgage broker at Dunes Mortgage for the separate sale of four properties in the Myrtle Beach area.

The sales generated mortgage loans submitted by Hager in the amount of $3,300,000.00 to J. P. Morgan Chase and Plantation Federal. The loan packages contained applications with false information, false HUD 1 Settlement Statements, as well as inflated appraisals, according to the U.S. Attorney's office.

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, and Hager received approximately $25,000.00 in kickbacks from from August to October 2008.

Nettles said the maximum penalty Hager can receive is a fine of $1,000,000.00 and/or imprisonment for 30 years, plus a special assessment of $100.00.