Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Feds Score 2nd Guilty Plea In Memphis-Area Foreclosure Sale Surplus-Snatching Ripoff

In Memphis, Tennessee, The Commercial Appeal reports:

  • A restaurant employee accused of conspiring to steal more than $1 million in surplus tax funds from Chancery Court pleaded guilty Friday in federal court. Correy Isom, 36, pleaded guilty as charged to three felony counts involving conspiracy, theft and money laundering in a hearing before U.S. Dist. Court Judge Jon McCalla. Isom, who was represented by attorney Coleman Garrett, will be sentenced later.

  • Last month former Chancery Court bookkeeper Brandon Gunn, 47, who also pleaded guilty, was sentenced to four years in federal prison and was ordered to make restitution of more than $1 million in tax foreclosure funds he embezzled from the office between 2008 and 2011.

  • Gunn was involved in an office function in which delinquent property taxes are paid by selling a homeowner's property, with the remainder or surplus to be placed in an escrow account the homeowner can claim.

  • The embezzlement scheme came to light when one homeowner seeking to claim a surplus discovered that it had been paid to a company set up by Gunn. Gunn admitted to writing 38 checks, ranging in amounts from $5,761 to $72,241, and sending them to his company or to other entities linked to him between May 2008 and March 2011.

  • Like Gunn, Isom likely will be ordered to make payments toward restitution. In response to the systematic theft, the county is implementing new financial software and other office accounting measures.

Source: Second man pleads guilty in Memphis Chancery Court theft case.

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