A former resident of Fort Lauderdale, Florida was sentenced to over twelve years in prison and ordered to pay over $7 million in restitution for orchestrating an international property fraud scheme.
Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau Investigation (FBI), Miami Field Office, made the announcement.
Dale Scott Wood, 46, formerly of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, pled guilty to a single count information that charged him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, on July 25, 2018 (Case No. 18-CR-60202) U.S. District Judge William P. Dimitrouleas sentenced Wood to 151 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Wood was also ordered to pay $7,130,410 in restitution.
According to court documents, investors in Germany formed a limited partnership to invest in the United States real estate mortgage market. The partnership made mortgage loans secured by commercial properties throughout the United States. After the United States real estate market crash beginning in 2007, the partnership had to foreclose on many of the mortgages it owned domestically. The partnership needed someone to oversee the foreclosure process and manage, maintain, and market the properties when the partnership acquired title. The partnership retained Wood for that purpose. From November 2009 to November 2013, Wood retained Theodore Gunter Gies, a bookkeeper, to assist him. Wood and Gies, without disclosure to or authorization from the partnership, sold the properties to third parties. Wood and Gies then submitted, via international e-mail, false financial and status reports indicating that the properties were still held by the partnership. The loss to the partnership by the actions of Wood and Gies was $7,130,410.
Gies previously pled guilty for his role in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 51 months in prison.
U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI in this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Thomas P. Lanigan and Karen Olivia-Marie Stewart.