Attorney General Bill McCollum News Release
May 7, 2009
Media Contact: Jenn Meale
Phone: (850) 245-0150
Columbia County Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Scheme
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced that a Columbia County man has pleaded guilty to his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme. Rory V. Porter faces five years in prison and ten years of probation when he is sentenced next month and will have to pay over half a million dollars in restitution. Porter was prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Office of Statewide Prosecution.
Porter, 42, was arrested in November 2007 by the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office after detectives from the Alachua and Columbia County Sheriffs’ Offices discovered Porter’s involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme with elements of identity theft. The investigation revealed that, between May 2007 and August 2007, Porter befriended owners of homes which were free of any liens, vacant, and for sale. Using information he obtained through his relationship with the homeowners and from public records, Porter forged documents and recorded deeds to transfer the homes to his possession. He would then locate private lenders and borrow money using the homes as collateral. Authorities believe Porter stole homes in the Gainesville and Lake City areas worth in excess of $800,000 and obtained loans against those homes in excess of $500,000.
After obtaining the proceeds from the new home mortgages, Porter would launder the money through different banks and companies that he controlled or did business with, including companies engaged in the sale of adult sex “toys” and the production and sale of adult pornographic videos. In just over two months, he had laundered the proceeds through at least four banks in the Gainesville, Lake City, and Jacksonville areas and closed the accounts.
Porter pleaded guilty to three counts of grand theft, three counts of money laundering, and one count of identity theft. He will be sentenced in June.