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USAO-EDVA:  Attorney sentenced in mortgage fraud scheme.

 (Richmond, Virginia) – Colin C. Connelly, age 52 of Hopewell, Virginia, was sentenced today to two years in prison for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. In imposing the sentence, Chief United States District Judge James R. Spencer also ordered Connelly to pay $376,464.62 in restitution to the victims of his criminal conduct. Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; C. Andre’ Martin, Special Agent In Charge, Internal Revenue Service; Joseph Clarke, Special Agent In Charge, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General; Keith Fixel, Inspector In Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service; Jennifer Love, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; and Andy Harris, Special Agent in Charge, United States Secret Service announced the sentence.

According to court records, Connelly was involved with others in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that spanned from February through November 2007. During that time period, Donnely owned and operated Connelly & Associates, P.C., located at 4830 West Hundred Road, Chester, Virginia. Acting through that business, Connelly assisted representatives from Walkwood Properties, Inc., 4401 Stigall Drive, Midlothian, Virginia, in closing a number of housing transactions under Walkwood’s real estate purchase program. This program offered various home owners an opportunity to sell their home to someone associated with Walkwood Properties in an attempt to save the home from foreclosure. As Connelly has admitted, however, the real estate purchase program was executed without full disclosure of how each transaction worked and a significant portion of the equity in the victim’s homes was skimmed to Walkwood Properties and other entities. In executing the scheme, Connelly assisted representatives from Walkwood Properties in making a number of false representations in connection with the transactions to allow the loans to go through. In connection with his guilty plea, Connelly agreed that if the true nature of the transactions had been revealed to the mortgage lenders, the loans would not have been approved. Overall, Connelly agreed to his involvement in 6 different mortgage transactions resulting in a total loss of $376,464.62.

The investigation was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the United States Secret Service. Assistant United States Attorney Michael Gill prosecuted the case for the United States.

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