A Hoschton man pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court in Atlanta to bank fraud and conspiracy charges for "committing a mortgage fraud, a real estate investment Ponzi scam involving more than 150 victims, a check-kiting scheme and a bankruptcy fraud," according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Northern District of Georgia office.
Edward William Farley, 47, of Hoschton operated under several different company names in Dunwoody and Norcross, paying an appraiser to inflate property values by $50,000 to $100,000 and then approving loan applications for investors or borrowers to purchase the homes.
These homes were known as "flips," or ones that were bought, refurbished and sold for a profit.
"However, as is common with ‘flips,’ Farley did not purchase the properties he was selling to the investor/borrowers until after the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds on the ‘second’ purchase had been disbursed," the news release notes. "At that time he purchased the properties for up to $100,000 less than the amount of the inflated mortgage loans he had arranged for the investor/borrowers in the "second" purchase, thereby causing lenders to lose millions of dollars."
He also worked under the name Alliance Resource Management in Lawrenceville to cover up the money he made and "falsely represented" ARM’s business of selling "flipped" homes.
This involved making false promises to real estate investors and lenders, including assuring them that their investments were "fully secured by a first security position in property, plus a personal guarantee, and sometimes title insurance," the release notes.
Additionally, Farley collected $1.2 million from Washington Mutual Bank through transferring funds that didn’t exist in different ARM bank accounts and collecting proceeds when the bank sent insufficient funds checks back.
Farley was charged Oct. 15 with bank fraud and conspiracy. After pleading guilty Thursday, Farley is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr. on Feb. 3.