A 49-year-old Louisiana man, who preyed on distressed homeowners in the Filipino immigrant community in Hawaii using a fraudulent mortgage relief scheme, was sentenced today to 20 years’ imprisonment, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today in a news release.
A federal jury, following a four-week trial, convicted on March 3 Anthony T. Williams on 32 counts of wire fraud and mail fraud. He had also been convicted in Florida for similar fraudulent conduct.
U.S. District Judge Leslie Kobayashi sentenced Williams to the 20 years to run consecutively to a 15-year sentence handed down in the Florida case. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release and must pay restitution.
Williams used two companies he created, Mortgage Enterprise Investments and Common Law Office of America, to con his 112 victims out of $230,000 between 2012 and 2015.
He presented himself as a “private attorney general” and used an official-looking law enforcement badge and credentials, which were bogus.
He promised victims he could eliminate existing home mortgage obligations by filing bogus documents with the Hawaii Bureau of Conveyances. He created new mortgages with his fake mortgage company and notes obligating them to make monthly payments to it, and told them to stop making mortgage payments to their lenders.
Several victims testified at trial they went into foreclosure or bankruptcy and two lost their homes as a result of the scheme.
“He took advantage of this vulnerable and in need population, delivering empty promises,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Eli Miranda. “He drained their finances, leaving many penniless. The FBI cannot, and will not stand by. We will continue ot maximize our efforts with partners agencies to bring these perpetrators to justice and hold them accountable for their crimes.”