A real estate agent based in the Tampa, Florida area faces up to five years in federal prison for attempting to stop Fannie Mae from foreclosing on a property so that he could sell it himself, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

According to a plea agreement, David Lyle Morgan, 53, entered into a contract with a homeowner to sell their property and filed a fraudulent bankruptcy petition in the homeowner’s name without their knowledge right before a scheduled foreclosure sale, preventing Fannie Mae from conducting the sale and obtaining the title to the property.

“The fraudulent bankruptcy petition filed by Morgan allowed him to continue efforts to sell the property in order to obtain ill-gotten real estate commissions,” the U.S Attorney’s Office in the Middle District of Florida said. The office indicted him in February.

Morgan pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud. He originally faced two counts of bankruptcy fraud and one count of falsification of records in a bankruptcy proceeding, which came with a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison.

Morgan has been a licensed Florida agent since 2000 and hangs his shingle at Future Home Realty Referral Group Inc. His sentencing date has not yet been set.

Email Andrea V. Brambila.

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