WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) – Wilmington attorney Jeffrey Scott Taggart was sentenced to three years in prison followed by three years of supervised release Wednesday on charges of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud and subscribing to a false income tax return, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
He was also ordered to pay more than $3 million to 12 banks and lenders who were victims of the fraud.
Taggart was sentenced after allegedly preparing false HUD-1 settlement statements, which he sent to banks and lenders on more than 50 loan transactions.
Taggart falsified "the existence and degree of the buyer's down payment, the existence and degree of financing, the existence or nonexistence of a buyer or seller, the actual contract price for the property, and the true recipient of all loan proceeds," accord to the news release.
He also fronted money from his firm's escrow account to make it look like borrowers were qualified for the loans that he closed.
The scheme caused banks and lenders to issue approximately $15.8 million in loans to conspirators, resulting in $3,060,896.77 in losses to the banks and lenders.
Additionally, the indictment says Taggart listed his taxable income as $80,486, when it was really $271,003.
The IRS and FBI conducted the investigation into Taggart.
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