Ex-mortgage broker indicted for fraud
Amy B. Williams, 48, of Buford, Ga., has been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges arising out of a scheme to defraud First Coweta Bank.
Williams was arraigned Thursday before United States Magistrate Judge J. Clay Fuller in Gainesville, Ga. “Bank fraud is a critical problem throughout the United States, but it has hit Georgia especially hard,” said Northern District of Georgia United States Attorney Sally Quillian Yates. “Georgia leads the nation in bank failures since 2008, with 78 banks failing — including First Coweta Bank, the bank this defendant is charged with defrauding.”
The former First Coweta Bank is now United Bank with an office on Bullsboro Drive near Greison Trail. According to Yates, the indictment, and other information presented in court: Williams was the sole owner of United International Mortgage (UIM) Corporation in Buford, Ga., and was in the business of arranging construction loans for residential builders. In April 2007, UIM closed three construction loans for one of its customers, Mainstreet Builders, Inc.
The loans were intended to finance the cost of constructing three new houses in Suwanee, Ga. The loans, which totaled more than $1.7 million, were funded by First Coweta Bank. Williams directed an unindicted coconspirator to forge signatures on loan documents and caused those documents to be faxed to First Coweta Bank.
The bank then wire transferred the loan proceeds to an account controlled by Williams. Williams was required to hold the money in trust for the builder and to disburse the money to the builder on a draw basis, as work on the three houses progressed. Instead, she used more than $1.1 million of this money to pay off her personal debt at another bank, and wire transferred $60,000 into her personal checking account.
After converting First Coweta Bank’s money to her own use, Williams attempted to cover up her crime by emailing false documents and misleading photos to the bank. According to Mark F. Giuliano, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, “The actions of Ms. Williams, as alleged in the indictment, directly led to the failure of the First Coweta Bank and, as such, clearly demonstrates the serious nature and impact of those actions. The FBI will continue to coordinate its bank fraud investigations with its various law enforcement partners in an effort to effectively identify, investigate, and present for prosecution those individuals who do so much harm to the banking industry.”
The indictment charges one count of conspiracy and six counts of bank fraud. Each count carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000. In determining the actual sentence, the Court will consider the United States Sentencing Guidelines, which are not binding but provide appropriate sentencing ranges for most offenders.