Texan Gets Four Years for Foreclosure Scam

     PLANO, Texas (CN) - A Texan was sentenced to four years in federal prison for a scheme that sent false military orders to stop home foreclosures and converted one of the spared homes into a marijuana grow house.
     Jarrod Williams, 34, of McKinney, also was ordered to pay $1.4 million in restitution. He pleaded guilty in August 2013 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.
     Co-conspirators Charles Williams, 39, of McKinney, Christopher Carter, 34, of Leicester, England, and Sean Harrell, 38, of Dallas, are each serving from 41 to 50 months in federal prison.
     Julius Williams, of McKinney, has yet to be sentenced. He faces up to five years in federal prison.
     According to the July 2012 indictment, the Williams clan controlled and operated Applied Investment Strategies, a purported foreclosure rescue service, from February 2007 to June 2012.
     "However, once a homeowner retained AIS, the defendants fraudulently used the customer's personal identification information to prepare and send false military orders to banks and lending institutions in order to claim relief from foreclosure under the Servicemember's Civil Relief Act," prosecutors said in a statement. "AIS would then lease out the home and collect rental payments for AIS' benefit."
     The scheme involved about 38 homes and also tried to stop repossession of cars, prosecutors said.
     "After at least one of the fraudulently acquired properties was vacated, Charles Williams, Jarrod Williams, Julius Williams, and Christopher Carter turned it into a marijuana grow operation that housed in excess of 1,000 marijuana plants," prosecutors said after the indictment.