Bloomberg News

Taylor Bean Ex-President Deserves 5-Year Sentence, U.S. Says

June 06, 2011

(Updates with lawyer comment in 14th paragraph.)

June 6 (Bloomberg) -- Raymond Bowman, the former president of Taylor, Bean & Whitaker Mortgage Corp., should be sentenced to five years in prison for his part in a $3 billion fraud, U.S. prosecutors told a federal judge.

Desiree Brown, the lender’s former treasurer, deserves an eight-year term, the government said June 4 in court papers.

The two are to be sentenced June 10 by U.S. District Judge Leonie Brinkema in Alexandria, Virginia, for their roles in a scheme that duped some of the country’s largest financial institutions, targeted the federal bank bailout program and contributed to the failures of Montgomery, Alabama-based Colonial Bank and its parent, Colonial BancGroup Inc.

“Bowman’s important -- although limited -- role in one of the largest fraud schemes in recent history warrants a substantial sentence,” prosecutors wrote.

Bowman, who lives in Atlanta, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, bank fraud and securities fraud and one count of making false statements. He faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

Prosecutors said Bowman, 45, should receive a shorter term because he admitted his crimes and helped the government in its case against Lee Farkas, Taylor Bean’s former chairman.

A jury in Alexandria found Farkas guilty April 19 of 14 counts of conspiracy and bank, wire and securities fraud after a two-week trial. Farkas was taken into custody after the verdict. He is to be sentenced on June 27.

Start of Fraud

Prosecutors allege the fraud began in 2002 when Farkas had trouble meeting operating expenses, such as payroll and mortgage-loan servicing payments owed to the government- sponsored Freddie Mac and Ginnie Mae.

With assistance from officials at Colonial Bank, at one time among the country’s 50 biggest, Farkas and other conspirators sent mortgage data to the bank for loans that didn’t exist or that Taylor Bean had already sold to other investors, the government said.

Prosecutors said Brown, 45, should spend eight years in prison because her role in the conspiracy was “substantial.”

Brown pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and securities fraud. She faces a maximum term of 30 years.

“She was fully aware that her actions were fraudulent, she worked closely with Farkas in carrying out the fraud scheme, and she administered the day-to-day activities of the fraud on behalf of Farkas and TBW,” prosecutors said.

No Personal Profit

The government said she should be sentenced to less than what’s called for in federal guidelines because she didn’t personally profit and helped the government convict Farkas.

Brown’s lawyer, Jack Maro of Ocala, Florida, said he will ask the judge to consider sentencing his client to five or six years in prison.

Bowman’s lawyer, Eric L. Yaffe of Gray Plant Mooty in Washington, declined to comment.

The Bowman case is U.S. v. Bowman, 11-cr-00118, the Brown case is USA v. Brown, 11-cr-00084, and the Farkas case is USA v. Farkas, 1:10-cr-00200, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

--Editors: Fred Strasser, Andrew Dunn

To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Schoenberg in Washington at tschoenberg@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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