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Home Bought and Re-Sold Same Day

Scheme Defrauds Washington Mutual Bank

Cleveland, Ohio - (Nov. 19, 2008) William J. Edwards, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced that a fifteen count federal grand jury indictment in Cleveland, Ohio, was returned today against Anthony L. Jerdine, Joseph Jones, Terry Smith, Roberto Baez, William J. Werner, Marilyn Mannarino, Diana Coomer, Ephrian Chestnut, Alpha Prosperity Project, Inc., Alpha Holdings Group, Inc., Academy Construction and Intelli, LLC in a mortgage fraud scheme. The indictment charges one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and money laundering, and one count of bank fraud against all defendants. The indictment also charges seven counts of money laundering against Anthony L. Jerdine, five counts of money laundering against Roberto Baez and nine counts of money laundering against Joseph Jones, as well as one count of money laundering against Alpha Holdings Group, Inc. and one count of money laundering against Academy Construction, two counts of money laundering against Alpha Prosperity Project, Inc. and two counts of money laundering against Intelli, LLC.

Anthony L. Jerdine, age 37, currently resides in Pepper Pike, Ohio. Joseph Jones, age 52, currently resides in Richfield, Ohio and owns and/or controls Alpha Prosperity Project, Inc., Alpha Holdings Group, Inc., Academy Construction and Intelli, LLC. Terry Smith, age 34, currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. Roberto Baez, age 51, currently resides in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. William J. Werner, d.b.a. The Werner Group, age 39, currently resides in Brecksville, Ohio. Marilyn Mannarino, age 64, currently resides in Macedonia, Ohio. Diana Coomer, age 44, currently resides in West Chester, Ohio. Ephrian Chestnut, age 43, currently resides in Fontana, California.

The indictment alleges that during the period from about August 2007 through December 2007, Anthony L. Jerdine, Joseph Jones, Terry Smith, Roberto Baez, William J. Werner, Marilyn Mannarino, Diana Coomer and Ephrian Chestnut conspired about the purchase of 7261 Hillbrook Lane, South Russell, Ohio. The indictment further alleges that as part of their conspiracy, Anthony L. Jerdine purchased this property on August 31, 2007 through a land trust agreement for $710,000, and then “resold” the property the same day for $2,000,000 to defendant Terry Smith, based on a fraudulent appraisal report provided by defendant William J. Werner. The indictment further alleges that defendant Terry Smith, through defendant Diana Coomer, completed and submitted a false and fraudulent loan application which falsified his employment, overstated his income, overstated his monthly rent, overstated his assets, falsified his intent to occupy the property and concealed the source of the down-payment funds in order to obtain the financing to purchase the property located at 7261 Hillbrook Lane, South Russell, Ohio. The indictment alleges that defendant Marilyn Mannarino, a licensed title agent through the State of Ohio, served as the title agent on the property through Professional Settlement Services and conspired with the defendants to allow the mortgage loan to be funded before collecting defendant Terry Smith’s down payment money at closing, before collecting the $710,000 payment from defendant Anthony L. Jerdine for the initial purchase of the property and failed to properly distribute the mortgage proceeds from closing. The indictment further alleges that defendant Ephrian Chestnut, as CEO and President of Tax Consultants, completed a fraudulent Verification of Employment (“VOE”) on behalf of defendant Terry Smith, stating that Smith had been a client for six years and was self-employed as the owner of BSM Financial, Inc. The indictment alleges that the defendants did all of this in order to deceive and defraud Washington Mutual Bank into funding the $2,000,000 purchase price with a mortgage loan of over $1.5 million.

If convicted, the defendants’ sentences will be determined by the Court after review of factors unique to this case, including the defendants’ prior criminal records, if any, each defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation. In all cases the sentences will not exceed the statutory maximum and in most cases it will be less than the maximum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Bennett, following an investigation by agents of the Cleveland Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Defendants are entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

SOURCE: United States Attorney's Office
Western District of Washington

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