Matthew Bevan Cox — who, along with an accomplice was dubbed “The Bonnie and Clyde of mortgage fraud” — has pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud charges in three states.
Cox, 37, faces up to 54 years in prison and $2 million in fines when he’s sentenced Aug. 22, prosecutors said, but is expected to receive a lesser sentence as part of a plea bargain arrangement.
Cox pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal district court in Atlanta to mortgage fraud, identity theft, passport fraud, and probation violation charges originating in Georgia, Tennessee and Florida.
Cox has agreed to pay an undetermined amount of restitution, and 41 counts against him in Georgia will be dropped under the plea agreement, the Associated Press reported.
Prosecutors said Cox and an accomplice, Rebecca Marie Hauck, stole the identities of property owners they rented from, erasing the mortgage liens on their homes, and obtained multiple loans on properties in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.
Cox used nearly 50 identities to steal more than $7 million in scams involving 125 properties, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Hauck was convicted on charges of mortgage fraud conspiracy and bank fraud, and sentenced on Nov. 15 to five years and 10 months in federal prison. The sentence also required her to pay $1.2 million in restitution.
Cox was indicted in September 2005 by a federal grand jury on 42 counts of mortgage fraud, identity theft, money laundering and conspiracy. Prosecutors in Tennessee and Florida filed criminal charges this month charging conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, aggravated identity theft and passport fraud.
Cox became a federal fugitive on Dec. 22, 2003, when he was charged with probation violations stemming from a 2002 mortgage fraud conviction in Tampa, Fla. He remained a fugitive until Nov. 16, when he was arrested by the United States Secret Service in Nashville, Tenn., following a nationwide manhunt.