Three Georgia men have been indicted in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme involving nearly half a million dollars, the Augusta Chronicle reported.


The federal indictment was kept secret until the arrest of one of the men, Stacey L. Shefton, 33, last Wednesday, the Chronicle reported Friday.


Shefton, Michael D. Dunn, 39, and Willie J. Anderson Jr., 37, are charged with conspiracy, fraud, money laundering and identity theft, the Chronicle reported.


According to the indictment, the alleged schemes began in late 2000, when Dunn bought a Harlem home for $17,600 and sold it to his girlfriend for $50,000, the Chronicle said. Dunn is accused of falsifying information on a mortgage loan application he filled out in his girlfriend’s name, according to the Chronicle.


The indictment alleges that the mortgage fraud scheme continued in 2001, when the defendants are said to have shadowed the legitimate sale of an Alpharetta home, the Chronicle reported. The indictment said the men conned an Alpharetta appraiser, an Augusta attorney and a Macon mortgage company into unwittingly participating in the fraudulent deal, media reports said.


The 19-count indictment also alleges that Shefton fraudulently convinced a builder he had a buyer ready to purchase a Statesboro home for $154,000, according to reports. Shefton also is accused of obtaining a mortgage by stealing and using another person’s identity, reports said.


According to the indictment, prosecutors are seeking the forfeiture of several luxury vehicles – a 2005 BMW, 2006 Mercedes Benz and 2005 Porsche Cayenne – plus a Dodge Ram 1500 pickup and a Yamaha motorcycle, reports said.


No hearing dates have been set yet in the case.


According to a news release by the federal prosecutor’s office, the men face possible sentences of 5 years to 20 years if convicted, reports said.


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