Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Minnesota Couple Who Recovered Home After Being Victimized In Sale Leaseback Equity Stripping Scam Attend Scammers' Sentencing

In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the Star Tribune reports:

  • Kevin and Kris Brown's trip to federal court began on their wedding day, Dec. 28, 2002. That's the day that they and their six children were evicted from their home in Hastings by Jim Hoffman in an equity-stripping scheme.(1)

    On Thursday, they sat quietly in a Minneapolis federal courtroom to see Hoffman and his wife, Teresa Gay Hoffman, sent to federal prison. "We've been waiting for this day for a long time," Kevin Brown said afterward. "It's amazing it's taken 10 years," Kris Brown added. "And he's kept hurting people."

    Jim Hoffman, 53, pleaded guilty in February to money laundering and tax evasion, and Teresa Hoffman, also 53, pleaded guilty to tax evasion.

    U.S. District Judge David Doty sentenced Jim Hoffman to 6 1/2 years in prison -- the top of the advisory guidelines' range -- followed by three years of supervised release. He sentenced Teresa Hoffman to a year -- six months below the minimum in the sentencing guidelines -- followed by two years of supervised release.

    The charges in the plea agreement fail to illustrate Jim Hoffman's trail of crimes, Assistant U.S. Attorney David MacLaughlin argued.

    "He is a true fraudster," MacLaughlin said, arguing for the stiff sentence. Unlike some people who resort to fraud because of economic hardship, he argued, "fraud is all that he has done since the 1990s."
  • The Browns attended the sentencing hearing along with a representative of the state attorney general's office, which helped them get back into their home seven months after Hoffman evicted them. They seemed satisfied with Jim Hoffman's sentence, but said Teresa Hoffman got off too easily.

    "I think she could've gotten more," Kris Brown said. "My kids have learned great lessons from what we've been through. Their kids have learned nothing."
For the story, see 10 years later, justice in fraud scheme.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Stillwater Couple Sentenced For Orchestrating $5 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme.

(1) For more on this type of foreclosure rescue ripoff, see:

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