Columbia man sentenced to 8 years for mortgage scheme

COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - COLUMBIA, SC (WCSC) - A Columbia man was sentenced Thursday to eight years in federal prison and other restitution payments for a mortgage fraud scheme.

According to US attorney Kevin McDonald, Randal Antoine, 36, was sentenced Thursday after pleading guilty last November to wire fraud and illegally using Social Security numbers in connection with the scheme.

According to prosecutors, Antoine devised a scheme to defraud AmeriDream, Inc., a company that provided down payment assistance to first-time home buyers. The scheme involved Antoine posing as a mortgage loan originator, applying to AmeriDream for funds on behalf of his purported clients.

In some cases, Antoine used stolen identities and Social Security numbers of midlands residents to apply for the funding.

Between February and September 2008, he falsely represented to AmeriDream that 38 different loan closings would be taking place, causing AmeriDream to transfer approximately $328,000.00 into accounts Antoine controlled.

In fact, no closings took place; all of the application information supplied by Antoine was fictitious.  He used some of the money he received from the lenders to pay off earlier loans, much like a Ponzi scheme, and procured additional funds from other lenders in a similar fashion.

Overall, the scheme involved loans of $4,700,000.00, with Antoine retaining more than $570,000.00 for his own use.

Antoine was ordered to pay full restitution and forfeit a BMW automobile he purchased with proceeds from the scheme.

United States District Judge Cameron McGowan Currie imposed the sentence.

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