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Feds Get 10 Mortgage Fraud Convictions

DALLAS (CN) - Four people were convicted in a $20.5 million mortgage fraud run by former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart, bringing the number of convictions and guilty pleas in the scheme to 10, federal prosecutors said.

William Tisdale Jr., 46, of Dallas, ran the scheme with Lockhart, 50, of Carrollton, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing the four latest convictions.

Tisdale and three co-defendants were convicted Thursday after a 5-week jury trial.

Tisdale was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

Hubert Jones, III, 40, of Garland, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of bank fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Lendell Beacham, 52, of Desoto, a mortgage company owner, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.

Scott David Eller, 45, of Mansfield, a CPA, was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The jury was unable to reach a verdict on a fifth defendant, Switzer Hinds, 46, of Dallas. U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis declared a mistrial in his case.

Each convicted defendant faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud, and up to 20 years and a $250,000 fine for wire fraud.

Six other defendants have pleaded guilty, including Lockhart.

According to the indictment, the defendants located 54 single-family residences for sale in the Dallas area, including distressed and pre-foreclosure properties, and negotiated sales. They 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 the statement announcing the four guilty verdicts.

Lockhart was accused of naming several of the real estate entities after the Dallas Cowboys, to profit from his connection to the team, 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.

Lockhart faces up to 10 years in federal prison.

Four weeks ago, he asked a federal judge to release him from prison on bond due to a septic infection.

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