- A real estate couple created fake contracts to get loans from commission companies, according to officials.
- The fake contracts included properties not for sale and buyers and sellers who did not exist.
- The couple was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison and to pay $146,273 in restitution.
A husband and wife realtor team from Virginia was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison on wire fraud charges after stealing $300,000 in advance sales commission by creating fake residential sales contracts, the Department of Justice said on Thursday.
Prosecutors said Jessee Allen DeLoach, 40, and Natasha Ashley Miller DeLoach, 38, created at least 19 fraudulent residential contracts between March 2016 and November 2019 and submitted them to multiple advance commission companies, according to prosecutors.
The couple also altered valid residential sale contracts to make it seem as if no other real estate agent was involved in the sale to double their commission and created non-existent companies to validate the fake contracts, according to prosecutors.
Prosecutors said commission companies often loan realtors money and, in this case, the companies gave the money after receiving contracts that appeared real but were actually bogus. For instance, they included properties that were not on the market, or included names of buyers and sellers who did not exist, officials said.
The couple pleaded guilty in February 2022. According to the prosecutors, the couple agreed to pay an additional $146,273 in restitution.
When asked by investigators why the couple committed the fraudulent act, the husband said, “Bills were tight,” according to The Miami Herald.