A Georgia attorney has pleaded guilty in U.S. District federal court to charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme.


Swain Alvin Lewis, an attorney in Dublin, Ga., entered a guilty plea to a charge of misprision (concealment) of a felony in connection with a scheme to defraud a mortgage lender, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Savannah.


Lewis pled to a charge that, from August 2003 to September 2003, he knowingly concealed a scheme by a mortgage broker and others to defraud a mortgage lender, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement. Those involved in the scheme falsely represented that the people applying for loans with the lender were seeking to refinance rather than obtain original purchase loans.


By characterizing the loans this way, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, the mortgage broker and others involved in the scheme were able to conceal the actual purchase price of the properties and persuade the lender that the properties were more valuable than they actually were.


Lewis helped to conceal the scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, by falsely indicating to the lender that the borrowers owned title to the properties allegedly being refinanced even though he knew they weren’t titleholders.


According to the Macon Telegraph, Assistant U.S. Attorney Edmund Booth Jr. said Lewis entered the guilty plea last month, but the paperwork was sealed by the court until Friday, Feb. 4.


Lewis faces up to three years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine or both, and up to one year of supervised release.


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