Winner of the Most Beautiful Girl in Nigeria, MBGN, in 1992, Sandra Petgrave, has been sentenced in the United States of America.
Petgrave was jailed alongside her husband, Chiedu ‘George’ Chukwuma, 47, in connection with a mortgage fraud ring that spanned five years and caused millions in losses.
It was said that the couple engaged in a massive property-flipping scheme resulting in over $5.8 million in actual losses to financial institutions between 2006 and 2011.
According to J. Britt Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FBI Atlanta Field Office, “The sentencing of Chukwuka brings to a close a lengthy investigation and prosecution of a criminal enterprise that targeted the banking industry through their prolific mortgage fraud schemes.
“Chukwuka, considered by law enforcement and prosecution to be head of this enterprise, caused extensive damage with high loss amounts to those victim banks involved. The FBI is pleased with the role it played in bringing about this sentencing to federal prison of Chukwuka as well as the previous sentencing of his co-defendants in this matter.”
It was explained that Chukwuka, along with his co-defendants and conspirators, carry out their operations by recruiting straw buyers to purchase homes at a discounted price, typically a bank-owned or distressed property.
The group then recruited a second straw buyer to purchase the same home at a dramatically inflated price.
In turn, Chukwuka, his co-defendants and co-conspirators applied for an acquisition loan for the second straw buyer, supporting the loan application with false income, fake employment, and fraudulent net worth data.
The group profited from their scheme by pocketing the acquisition loan proceeds paid by the victim bank to the straw seller (who was the straw purchaser in the first transaction).
The amount of profit was the difference between the price paid by the straw purchaser in the first transaction and the price paid by the straw purchaser in the second transaction, less transaction costs.
Since none of the straw purchasers made any significant loan payments, the targeted properties usually went into foreclosure, resulting in over $5.8 million in actual losses to financial institutions between 2006 and 2011.
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