Raymond Foakes, Sonoma Chapter Hell's Angels' former president, will have to serve nearly 6 years jail time for allegedly being involved in a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. Foakes has been accused of getting mortgage loans illegally between 2006 and 2007. He supplied false documents to buy many homes. Foakes also altered bank statements to do this. One or more of the illegally acquired homes were used to grow marijuana.
In addition to spending time in prison, Foakes will have to make a restitution payment of $1,085,000. Hell Angels, a motorcycle gang, maintains that their former president is innocent. Foakes will not be able to comment on this, because following the sentence, his communication with the gang will be limited.
Foakes Charged in September 2011
Foakes' conviction can be traced back to September last year. He and seven others were charged with fraud. Among the others was one other leader of Hells Angels. The seven were accused of committing fraud by falsifying documents and altering bank statements. This is not the first instance of a Hells Angels member being accused of mortgage fraud.
In July 2011, Hells Angels Sydney Chapter's leader turned himself in for a mortgage fraud scheme. It was a $150 million worth scheme in which the leader financed equipments for earthmoving and motorcycles. A house in a suburb in Sydney was also financed through the scheme. The leader was accused of fraud and money laundering.
Mortgage Fraud could be on the Rise
A few reports suggest that mortgage fraud is on the rise. Cases related to the crime hit a record high in 2010. The reason was the remnants of the housing market that was at its peak in 2006 and 2007. Lee Farkas, the former owner of Taylor Bean and Whitaker, a mortgage company, was accused of being involved in a highly systemic mortgage fraud case. Since he was accused, he has been charged with taking $3 billion illegally from clients.