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961 WordsAug 10, 20124 Pages
Chalana McFarland Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison Thursday, August 25 2005 08:59 Georgia Hands Down Longest Mortgage Fraud Sentence Chalana McFarland, a/k/a "Chalana Cosby" a disbarred closing attorney from Stone Mountain, Georgia (who later moved her operations to Miami, Florida) was sentenced to 30 years in federal prison and ordered to pay nearly $12 million in restitution. This sentence is believed to be the most severe ever handed down in the United States in a mortgage fraud case. McFarland was convicted on February 15, 2005, on a 170-count indictment that included charges of conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, identity theft, fraudulent use of social security numbers, money laundering, obstruction of justice and perjury arising out of her involvement with a mortgage fraud ring that flipped more than one hundred homes in Atlanta, Georgia. Seventeen of her nineteen co-defendants testified against her at the trial. During the sentencing hearing, Judge Thrash noted that mortgage fraud is a very serious problem and that McFarland's conduct had victimized banks, mortgage and title insurers, college students whose financial identities were stolen, and the neighborhoods in which the flipping ring operated. He cited McFarland's lack of remorse, her prominent role in controlling the scheme, and the fact that she abused the public trust and her position as an attorney as factors contributing to the severity of the sentence. According to the pre-sentence report, McFarland could have been sentenced to life in prison. Assistant US Attorney Barbara Nelan, moved for a downward departure and asked for a minimum of 30 years. McFarland was originally indicted on May 13, 2004. Also indicted at various times and subsequently pleading guilty to charges related to the multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme initiated and orchestrated by McFarland were:

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