Tampa, FL - A Brooksville man has been sentenced to over eight years in prison for his role in a five-year, $12 million fraudulent home inspection scam.
According to the Department of Justice, Dean Counce, 42, committed fraud as the president and founder of American Mortgage Field Services (AMFS), a company utilized by government entities and banks to inspect homes in foreclosure.
In short, entities like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac paid servicing lenders, like Bank of America, to maintain their properties. To do so, Bank of America sought out Counce and AMFS's inspection services.
Each month, the bank reportedly gave Counce a list of homes to visit- requiring him to inspect and photograph the properties, fill out an inspection report and then turn everything in for payment.
Reports say Counce performed some inspections personally, but as the business grew, he hired others to assist, and eventually take over the process completely.
As the economy took a dive and foreclosures sky-rocketed in 2007, AMFS' workload reportedly became too much for the team to handle- so much that the company began skipping properties, and fabricating inspection reports... a lot of reports.
In total, between 2007 and 2012, reports say Bank of America paid Counce's company nearly $24 million for his services, but that nearly half of the inspections were never actually completed.
If those numbers don't hit home, this may put it into perspective- Reports say Counce at one point was able to pocket almost $1 million in just one month.
Counce's crimes came to an end in 2012. He reportedly pleaded guilty to the offence in September of that year, and has since been sentenced to eight years in prison.
In addition to serving time, Counce has to give back close to $13 million dollars, and valuables traced to his fraudulent profits, like real estate and jewelry.