The U.S. Department of Justice's U.S. Attorney's office for the Western District of Missouri issued the following press release:
Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former president of Allen Village School's board of directors pleaded guilty in federal court today to mortgage and investment fraud schemes.
James Elliott Coleman, 58, of Raytown, Mo., pleaded guilty before U.S. Chief District Judge Dean Whipple this afternoon to all of the charges contained in an April 20, 2006, federal indictment.
By pleading guilty today, Coleman admitted that he participated in a $778,336 mortgage fraud scheme and a $40,000 investment fraud scheme that were perpetrated against an older widow and her daughter. Coleman also admitted that he used some of the proceeds of the investment fraud to repay money he embezzled from the charter school.
Coleman admitted that he participated in a conspiracy from December 2001 to July 29, 2004, to defraud mortgage lenders and individual victims. As a result of the mortgage fraud conspiracy, Coleman personally obtained approximately $148,214.
Coleman solicited two victims, an older widow and her daughter, to invest in real estate. Coleman prepared false and fraudulent loan applications and supporting documentation for submission to mortgage lenders in the names of straw borrowers, caused inflated appraisals to be prepared in relation to the properties, and submitted false and fraudulent loan applications and documentation to mortgage lenders...
Between 2003 and July 29, 2004, in an attempt to lull the mother and daughter into believing that their investments were safe and secure, Coleman fraudulently advised them that there had been delays in the progress of Allen Village, but that Phase I was already underway and Phase II was about to break ground.
Coleman admitted that he used part of the money from the investment fraud scheme to repay funds he embezzled from Allen Village School, a Kansas City charter school where he had served on the board of directors and as business manager, board treasurer and president. Coleman has been charged in a separate indictment with embezzling $47,368 from the school.
Coleman also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of interstate transportation of funds obtained by fraud, which were related to a series of financial transactions in which Coleman caused funds to be transferred across state lines in furtherance of the conspiracy and as a result of the conspiracy and scheme to defraud.
Under federal statutes, Coleman could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole on the conspiracy count and up to 10 years in federal prison without parole on each of the 10 counts of interstate transportation of funds obtained by fraud, plus a fine up to $250,000 on each of the 11 counts. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Parker Marshall. It was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.Contact: Don Ledford, 816/426-4220.
Allen Village School
INFORMATION ISSUED BY U.S. ATTORNEY'S OFFICE FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI ON SEPT. 25: FORMER CHARTER SCHOOL PRESIDENT PLEADS GUILTY TO MORTGAGE, INVESTMENT FRAUDS; September 25, 2006; US Fed News Service