An Ohio real estate agent who reportedly sold about 170 properties from 1997-2004 at inflated prices will plead guilty to charges that he created false credit documents and filed a false federal income-tax return, according to a report in The Columbus Dispatch.
Steven E. Winter reportedly marked up the price of the properties an average of 85 percent, and about half of the home buyers ended up in a foreclosure process.
The Dispatch reported that 22 of the buyers who Winter worked with purchased homes with mortgages guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and HUD paid about $1.6 million because of the defaults.
According to the report, Winter was not indicted because he agreed to be charged with five counts of making false documents and five counts of tax fraud. “But in an unusual agreement, he is pleading to only one count of each charge,” the newspaper reported.
The newspaper had earlier reported that several buyers accused Winter of doctoring their loan applications and inflating the homes’ appraised values. “At the height of his business, Winter was buying about two homes per week and turning them over within months at high profits.”
According to Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing records, Winter received his real estate license Jan. 21, 2003.