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Wednesday, July 17, 2024 | Back issues
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Ex-Dallas Cowboy Seeks Release on Bond for Illness

DALLAS (CN) - Former Dallas Cowboy Eugene Lockhart Jr. asked a federal judge to release him from prison on bond because he is hospitalized with a septic infection.

Lockhart, 50, of Carrollton, pleaded guilty in August to participating in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme. He is awaiting sentencing, and faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Lockhart was released on bond in September 2009, but it was revoked in March 2011. He was at a federal prison in the Dallas surburb of Seagoville until Dec. 30, 2011, when he was taken to a private hospital due to a septic infection. He was taken back to prison on Saturday, after 22 days in the hospital, but says in his request for bond that he has fallen ill again.

In the motion, his attorney Jay Ethington says Lockhart has undergone "at least 14 days of continuous intravenous injections of antibiotics and surgery on his left arm" and is accompanied by two armed guards at all times.

"The seriousness of Mr. Lockhart's medical condition will very likely require appropriate and immediate medical attention in the future," Ethington wrote. "This will best be facilitated on a home confinement basis. Home confinement will eliminate extraordinary BOP [Bureau of Prisons] personnel demands and expenses."

Lockhart and his co-defendants are accused of paying straw buyers to help them cheat mortgage lenders.

According to the indictment, the conspirators located 54 single-family residences for sale in the Dallas area, including distressed and pre-foreclosure properties, and negotiated sales. They allegedly created surplus loan proceeds by inflating the sales price to arbitrary amounts that were substantially more than fair market value.

"They recruited individuals to act as nominee or 'straw purchasers' or 'straw borrowers,' promising to pay them a bonus or commission of between $10,000 and $20,000 for their participation in a particular real estate transaction," prosecutors said in a statement.

"The conspirators caused the loan applications for each straw borrower to include false financial information, often including inflated false income figures to conceal the borrower's true financial condition so that the lender would more likely approve the loan."

Prosecutors say the defendants concealed from the lenders that the straw borrowers never intended to occupy the homes. They also are accused of listing bogus and fraudulent "marketing fees" on closing documents.

According to the indictment, Lockhart was involved with several real estate entities, including America's Team Mortgage, America's Team Realty, America's Team Funding Group, Ace Mortgage, Cowboys Realty, Cowboys Mortgage, and KLT Properties. Tisdale was involved with Pinnacle Development and Realty Corp., Atilla Capital Corp., and KLT Properties.

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