GROSSE ILE TWP. (WWJ) – A Grosse Ile businessman will spend the next seven-and-a-half years in jail after being convicted of orchestrating millions of dollars of fraudulent mortgage transactions.
Richard Dean Woolsey, 42, received his sentence this week, which also includes three years of supervised release. He was convicted last October on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud charges after a two-week trial.
Evidence at trial showed that from 2006 to 2008, Woolsey defrauded lenders in numerous mortgage loan transactions in Michigan and Tennessee. In executing the conspiracy, Woolsey used ReMax Experts, a real estate company, and The Valuation Group, an appraisal company, both owned by him.
Prosecutors said Woolsey orchestrated millions of dollars of fraudulent mortgage transactions by coordinating and directing the activities of bank employees, buyers, appraisers and closing agents. In doing so, he disguised the source of down payments, provided false and inflated appraisals for properties and provided false income information for buyers in order to bolster their creditworthiness and apparent ability to qualify for mortgage loans.
Losses caused by Woolsey’s fraud were greater than $2.5 million and less than $7 million.
“Mortgage fraud harms real estate markets and property values and also undermines the ability of lending institutions to protect themselves from debilitating losses,” U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in a statement.
Sentencing for co-defendant Ryan Vinco is scheduled for June 5. A separate hearing on restitution will be held within 90 days.