Texas Mortgage Companies, Founder Must Pay $93 Million in Fraud Case: Jury

Reuters | December 1, 2016        A federal jury has ordered two Texas-based home mortgage entities and their chief executive to pay nearly $93 million for defrauding the U.S. government into insuring thousands of risky loans, according to court records.

Americus Mortgage Corp, AllQuest Home Mortgage Corp, and their founder, Jim Hodge, were found liable on Tuesday by a Houston federal jury for violating the False Claims Act and the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act.

The jury awarded nearly $93 million in damages, including $7.37 million against Hodge, a sum that is subject to mandatory tripling under the False Claims Act. Further penalties are expected, which U.S. District Judge George Hanks will set at a later date, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara's office said in a press statement released late on Wednesday.

During the period at issue, the companies were known as Allied Home Mortgage Capital Corp and Allied Home Mortgage Corp.

Wendell Odom, their lawyer, said he anticipated an appeal in the case, one of several the U.S. government has brought against lenders following the 2008 financial crisis.  Read more here.