A South Florida pair was arrested and charged Tuesday on an 18-count real estate loan and bankruptcy fraud indictment, officials said.

Edward Garnett, 62, and Shirley Akey, 69, both of Fort Lauderdale, were each charged with conspiracy, loan application fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office. Garnett was also charged with bankruptcy fraud.

According to the indictment, Garnett fraudulently obtained 12 mortgage loans totaling almost $6 million, using luxury properties in which he lived as collateral. To obtain the mortgage loans, Garnett submitted loan applications containing false financial information in both his name and in the names of certain nominees. The false financial information included overstated income, overvalued assets, false employment information, and false tax information.

Garnett and Akey also arranged for the nominees to become signatories on Akey’s accounts, so that the nominees would appear to have assets sufficient to qualify for the loans for which they were applying, according to the indictment.

Through this scheme, Garnett allegedly received more than $1.4 million from the loans, much of which was shared with his longtime close personal friend, Akey. Akey also allegedly concealed the monies for Garnett and laundered the money through her bank accounts.

Garnett filed for bankruptcy in 2002 and fraudulently concealed his interest in certain properties located in Delray Beach, Fla., from the Bankruptcy Court, creditors and the United States Trustee, according to the indictment.

Garnett also allegedly failed to disclose a $272,000 unrecorded Mortgage Note related to the properties in the same bankruptcy, and again when he filed for bankruptcy in April 2005.

The two were scheduled to appear in court Wednesday.

Each faces multiple years in prison and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.


Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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