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Guilty Ordered to Forfeit Millions

Boats, Houses and Bank Accounts Seized

Topeka, Kan. – (Jan. 22, 2009) Kansas City Builder F. Jeffrey Miller and two associates must forfeit more than $2.6 million in proceeds derived from conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering, Acting U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker announced today.

A federal jury in Topeka returned the forfeiture verdict late Wednesday. Last month, the same jury found Miller and his associates guilty on mortgage fraud charges. During that trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Miller and associates targeted home-buyers with poor credit, obtained inflated appraisals, submitted false information to lenders, and manipulated home buyers to move into homes before closing and then increased the purchase price at closing when buyers were under pressure to accept the terms for fear of losing their homes.

The jury found the following assets were subject to forfeiture:

– $2.67 million Miller and co-defendants Stephen Vanatta and Hallie Irvin derived as a result of the conspiracy.
– All assets and accounts of Miller’s company, Star Land Development, which were derived from the conspiracy and money laundering.
– All assets and accounts of Innovative Designs, which were derived from the conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering. – All assets of HCI, which were derived from the conspiracy, bank fraud, and money laundering.
– 415 Regency Cove, Lake Ozark, Mo., or the proceeds from the sale of the property, which was derived from the conspiracy, bank fraud and unlawful monetary transactions.
– The “Pipe Dream,” a 54-foot Sea Ray boat, which was derived from the conspiracy and money laundering.
– “Bling Bling,” a 45-foot Sea Ray boat, which was derived from the conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.
– A 1998 Piper Seneca V aircraft, which was derived from the conspiracy, bank fraud and money laundering.

Miller has been indicted in two separate federal mortgage fraud cases. In the first indictment, filed May 17, 2006, he and eight other people where charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering. After the indictment was filed, Miller was released on his own recognizance pending trial and allowed to continue doing business under an arrangement in which he agreed to abide by all federal, state and local laws and to permit his business transactions to be monitored by Meara King & Company of Kansas City.

Miller was indicted again on Nov. 19, 2006, on separate federal charges. Last month, he was convicted on those charges. He still faces trial on the first indictment. Co-defendants in the remaining case are Todd Earnshaw, Brian Rouse, Angela Parenza, Elizabeth Hessel, James Moser, Steve Middleton, Lanny Ross and Judy Brumble. Five of those defendants – Ross, Brumble, Middleton, Parenza and Hessel – have entered guilty pleas and are awaiting sentencing.

Parker commended IRS-Criminal Investigation, Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General, Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Hathaway, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Kenney for their work on the case.

SOURCE: United State Department of Justice -- District of Kansas

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