|September 8, 2009
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
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TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Jensen Beach Pastor and his wife have been sentenced to prison terms for a mortgage fraud scheme. Rodney McGill will serve 20 years in prison and his mortgage broker wife Shalonda will serve a 10-year prison sentence for running a mortgage fraud scheme that enticed victims to participate in a real estate investment “opportunity” but instead was an effort to rid the McGills of their mortgages. In addition to their sentences, each will serve 10 years of probation upon their release. The case was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution in partnership with the State Attorney Bruce Colton of the 19th Judicial Circuit.
During the trial, prosecutors told the jury that Rodney McGill used his radio program to advertise a contest to become the “Fabulous Five,” five “winners” who would receive advice from the pastor on making millions through real estate investments. After hearing the information on the radio show, at least three victims called the radio station and provided their social security numbers and other financial information. The McGills showed their victims the properties that had been “selected” especially for them, but the scheme carefully concealed the fact that the McGills owned each of the properties offered up as potential investments. The McGills then encouraged their victims to lie about income and other information to obtain the mortgages for the properties and eventually abandoned their straw buyers with ruined credit.
In addition to serving their prison and probation sentences, Rodney and Shalonda McGill must pay approximately $700,000 in restitution to the banks they defrauded. They were arrested in September 2008 after a joint criminal investigation by the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Financial Regulation.