Rebecca Marie Hauck pleaded guilty May 15 in federal district court to being part of a mortgage fraud and bank fraud scheme that left a trail of victims in Georgia and other parts of the Southeast, media reports said Monday.

Hauck and co-defendant Matthew Bevan Cox, who remains at large, allegedly rented properties from true owners and fraudulently erased mortgage liens on the properties, reports said. The defendants then allegedly stole the identities of the owners and fraudulently obtained multiple new mortgage loans on the properties, according to reports.

After the two allegedly executed the scheme in one location, they changed locations and perpetrated the same so-called fraudulent scheme, the Atlanta Business Chronicle said.

Hauck and Cox allegedly used stolen identities to obtain drivers licenses, purchase vehicles, lease mail drops, rent apartments and open bank accounts to receive scheme proceeds in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina, reports said.

Cox allegedly obtained a number of the stolen identities from homeless people by posing as a Red Cross worker taking a survey, according to reports.

Hauck was indicted in September 2005 on 42 counts of bank fraud, wire fraud, interstate transportation of fraud proceeds, identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy, according to reports.

The indictment was unsealed on March 21, when she was arrested in Houston by the U.S. Secret Service, reports said. Hauck pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud, according to reports, and could receive a maximum sentence of 35 years in prison and a fine of up to $1.25 million.

Sentencing is scheduled for July 31 before U.S. District Judge Timothy C. Batten Sr., according to reports.

“This case involves significant losses to victim lenders in several states,” said U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias. “Even worse, the scheme clouded property titles on numerous residences when the defendants stole homeowners’ identities and placed multiple loans on the houses. We hope the public can help us locate Matthew Cox so that he too can be brought to justice.”

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