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ATTORNEYDIVISIONS Administrative Division Appellate Division Civil Division Criminal Division Special Proceedings Division Superior Court Division Victim Witness Assistance UnitPROGRAMS Engaging Our CommunityEngaging Our YouthAssisting Victims and WitnessesEnding Human TraffickingCONTACT USCAREERS Assistant United States Attorney PositionsSpecial Assistant United States Attorney PositionsLegal Fellowship Program Non-Attorney/Support PositionsStudent Volunteer InternshipsStudent Temporary EmploymentHome » News » Press Release FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Tuesday, January 10, 2012 For Information Contact: Public Affairs (202) 252-6933 http://www.justice.gov/usao/dc/index.html Owners of Property Management Company Plead Guilty To Defrauding Clients, Mortgage Lenders and Government - Scheme Involved More Than $2.8 Million WASHINGTON – The owners of a property management company, Bryan W. Talbott, 48, and Chester D. Ransom, Jr., 44, have pleaded guilty to defrauding their clients, mortgage lenders, and the government out of more than $2.8 million. The guilty pleas were announced by Ronald C. Machen Jr., U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia; Daniel S. Cortez, Inspector in Charge, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; James W. McJunkin, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, and Eric Hylton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Washington Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. The defendants each pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia to charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and conspiracy to defraud the government. Talbott appeared in court on January 9, 2012, and Ransom appeared on January 6, 2012. The Honorable Robert L. Wilkins presided over both of the hearings. As part of their plea agreements, the defendants agreed to criminal forfeiture and restitution of more than $2.8 million. Under the voluntary federal sentencing guidelines, Talbott and Ransom each face between 46 to 57 months of incarceration. Talbott’s sentencing is scheduled for May 29, 2012, and Ransom’s sentencing is scheduled for April 23, 2012. According to the government’s evidence, Talbott was the president and Ransom was the vice president of a property management company located in Washington, D.C., that operated under multiple names, including Esquire LLC, Federal City Mowbray, and Private Properties Inc. (collectively referred to as “Esquire”). The defendants also lived together at a residence on North Portal Drive NW, Washington, D.C. From 2004 to the present, the defendants engaged in three separate fraudulent schemes, resulting in more than $2.8 million in losses to the victims. Fraud Relating to Property Management Through their property management company, Esquire, the defendants entered into contracts with numerous property owners in the Washington, D.C. area to manage their rental properties. Under many of the contracts, the defendant were required to collect rental payments from tenants and use those funds to pay bills relating to the properties, such as utility bills. After paying any bills
Talbott obtained a loan of $890. Ransom again “sold” the Portal property to Talbott.034 from the settlement. a mortgage lender. Criminal Investigation Division. 2006.C. with two loans in the total amount of $731. 2005. agents of the Internal Revenue Service.000 from First National Bank of Arizona. the defendants defrauded at least 54 clients out of a total of $1. this time for $1. despite the fact that Talbott was already the legal owner.S. Ransom executed two deeds of trust on the property. and Kevin Craddock of the District of Columbia Office of the Chief Financial Officer. Attorney Machen. Talbott obtained a loan in the amount of $750. Ransom’s 2006 federal and D. Then. The defendants provided copies of the forged lien releases to the settlement company.222 In fact. purporting to release the WMC liens on the Portal property.269.000. Ransom purchased the property on North Portal Drive NW for $975. on January 13.S.000. Ransom received a check in the amount of $801.C. For both of their federal and D. tax refunds were blocked prior to disbursement.655 and a D. agents of the FBI’s Washington Field Office. Paralegals Diane Hayes and Sarah Reis. the defendants submitted Forms W-2 that indicated federal and D. financing the purchase. income tax withholdings in the following amounts: FilerFederal Income Tax Withheld (Box 2)State Income Tax (Box 17) Talbott$214. on February 2. former Paralegal Carolyn Cody.250 from WMC Mortgage Corp. Ransom sold the Portal property to Talbott for $1.250.432 Ransom$86. Talbott executed a deed of trust on the property.C.280 from the settlement. As part of their fraudulent scheme. the defendants filed false federal and District of Columbia tax returns. Attorney’s Office. income tax withholdings for tax year 2006. including Forensic Accountants in the Fraud and Public Corruption Section. Instead.S. Less than a month later. the defendants used these funds for their own benefit. 2004. The defendants provided copies of the forged lien releases to the settlement company.000 from Fremont Investment and Loan. taxes. granting WMC a security interest in the property. In addition. the defendants also sent forged bank statements to some of their clients. the defendants were required to remit the remainder of the rental payments to the property owners. in part.897.Criminal Investigation. the defendants frequently collected rental payments from tenants but did not pay the bills for the properties.677$75. Through this fraudulent scheme.C.278. granting First National Bank of Arizona a security interest in the property.000. Talbott executed a deed of trust on the property.544$31. Ransom filed with the District of Columbia Recorder of Deeds two forged Certificates of Satisfaction. Ransom received a check in the amount of $515. . 2006.C. ** In announcing the guilty pleas.110. despite falsely representing to the property owners that the bills had been paid. Assistant Director McJunkin and Acting Special Agent in Charge Hylton commended the outstanding investigative work of Postal Inspector Steven Sultan of the U. Mortgage Fraud On June 30. Legal Assistants Jamasee Lucas and Krishawn . Postal Inspection Service. tax refund in the amount of $30. granting Fremont a security interest in the property. Talbott’s false tax returns generated a federal tax refund in the amount of $66. On December 29. Inspector in Charge Cortez.and deducting an administrative fee. misstating the balances in their clients’ accounts. Tax Fraud For tax year 2006. U. They also praised the efforts of members of the U. the defendants did not have any actual federal or D.