On Monday, federal prosecutors charged Roger Bill Hanks, alleging that he collected $600,000 in kickbacks in connection with a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme that spanned three years.
Hanks faces a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He was charged by "information" rather than an indictment, which generally indicates that a plea agreement is expected.
Court documents allege that Hanks conspired with unnamed individuals-who are referred to only by the letters A through F-and possibly others to buy residential properties at inflated prices between 2004 and 2007.
Two of the unidentified individuals allegedly solicited home buyers, a group that included Hanks, and offered them kickbacks from the mortgage loans that weren't disclosed to lenders. Another individual allegedly used his status as a mortgage loan broker to assist Hanks and the five other unidentified individuals in preparing false mortgage loan applications for lenders.
Buyers were told that they could use the kickback money they received to make monthly mortgage payments or to improve the property or secure renters.
Court documents indicate that through the scheme, lenders collectively funded mortgage loans that totaled more than $20 million for the purchase of 57 Minnesota properties-and those lenders incurred "significant" losses through subsequent foreclosures and short sales involving the properties.
Hanks allegedly bought eight of the homes sold through the scheme and personally derived more than $600,000 from the mortgage loan proceeds for them.
A search conducted by the Star Tribune found that there is only one Roger Bill Hanks in Minnesota public records. According to the newspaper, he's a 66-year-old Coon Rapids man who worked at a home-based company called Crown Real Estate Investors Group and who had been an officer of Grace Baptist Church in Columbus, Georgia.