Convicted mortgage fraudster gets 9 years in prison for role in South Florida scheme

He pleaded guilty to using Fort Lauderdale properties to get $1.7M in loans

TRD MIAMI /
Apr.April 12, 2019 04:35 PM

George French Jones

A California man is heading to prison for his role in a mortgage fraud and identity theft scheme in South Florida, a.k.a the mortgage fraud capital of America.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola in Miami sentenced George French Jones to 113 months, or more than nine years, in federal prison and ordered him to pay over $1.8 million in restitution. Jones, of Santa Monica, California, submitted fake loan applications for two waterfront residential properties in Broward County that he didn’t own. Jones pleaded guilty to the charges in December.

As part of the scheme, Jones used the homes as collateral to score loans totaling roughly $1.7 million, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

1525 Southeast 10th Street in Fort Lauderdale (Credit: Realtor)

He faked applications with false Canadian passports and email addresses to pull money out of the properties at 41 Nurmi Drive and 1525 Southeast 10th Street in Fort Lauderdale. The houses were owned by companies. Bacon Properties II paid $1.7 million for the Nurmi Drive home in 2015, and V&H Ventures paid just over $1 million for the 10th Street house in 2013. The latter recently sold to Canadian professional hockey player, Nathan Horton, for $3.2 million, records show.

The Fort Lauderdale scam wasn’t the first time Jones was involved in a con. In 2013, during the Miami Heat’s “Big Three” era, he sold fake season tickets to Heat games and New York Yankees games to celebrities like former NFL players Charles Woodson and Jarvis Green and sports agent David Meltzer, according to the Miami Herald. Jones served 16 months in a California state prison, only to end up in South Florida again, pleading not guilty to mortgage fraud in a separate case.

Mortgage fraud is on the rise as more buyers are inflating their incomes in order to qualify for new purchases. States like Florida, New York, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and New Mexico are most at risk, according to data from CoreLogic.

Last year in South Florida, the State Attorney’s office pursued a number of cases. Last year, Marco Laureti, a former mortgage broker, lender and agent who led a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme in South Beach and Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced to 15 years in prison.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Alan Jay Wildstein and 1500 Southeast 10 Street

Auto dealer snags a pad in Fort Lauderdale for $7M

Daily Digest Miami

Miami Beach OKs hotel development on Lincoln Road, Bank OZK’s construction lending is up: Daily digest

La Social’s original location at 7601 Biscayne Boulevard (Credit: Google Maps)

The Weekly Dish: La Social to open in downtown Miami, Salt & Straw is going to Wynwood 25 & more

Daily Digest Miami

Rise in climate-related home buyouts could worsen housing inequality, Eurostars parent buys historic downtown Miami property: Daily digest

From left: Adam Rubin, Farin Milligan, Nicholas Chatman, Tim Elmes, Addison Ruff, Mike Herstik and Niki Michopoulos

Compass poaches Tim Elmes of Coldwell Banker

Charlie Kushner and Laurent Morali over Fort Lauderdale site (Credit: Google Maps)

Kushner goes to Broward, buying site near Fort Lauderdale train station

One Financial Plaza with Clay Hamlin III and Jay Shidler of Alliance HSP (Credit: Google Maps)

Alliance buys One Financial Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale

From left: Edward Romo, Ryan T. Shaw and Scott C. Sandelin and the property

Assemblage in downtown Fort Lauderdale selling for $12M

arrow_forward_ios