PORTLAND, OR – November 24, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Senior United States District Judge Robert E. Jones today sentenced Lee Howlett, 46, of Portland, to 41 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Howlett pled guilty in February 2009 to a single count of conspiring to make false statements to financial institutions.
Howlett previously operated a mortgage company in Portland, Oregon, in the name of Taylor Made Mortgage. According to information produced by the government at sentencing, over a two-and-a-half year period, from 2003 to 2005, Howlett submitted 14 false loan applications in connection with the purchase or refinancing of seven properties. Those applications contained false employment information, false income information, false information about the source of down-payments, and false information about the true buyer. In addition, each of these applications was accompanied by a fraudulent appraisal. According to testimony at sentencing, the appraisals were submitted using the names of appraisers who did not actually complete the appraisals, or, in a few instances, of an appraiser who was nonexistent. As a result of these falsehoods, Howlett obtained more than $3.7 million in financing, of which he personally got $1.3 million. Losses to the financial institutions as a result of these false loans were estimated at between $400,000 and $1 million.
In the government’s sentencing memorandum, Acting U.S. Attorney Kent S. Robinson described Howlett as a “serial, unrepentant con-artist. … His conduct was typical of the fraudulent practices which have produced the mortgage and financial crisis of the past two years.”
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Acting U.S. Attorney Kent Robinson.