ABINGDON, Va. – A husband and wife realtor team from Abingdon, Virginia, pleaded guilty yesterday to federal wire fraud charges related to their scheme to create fake residential sales contracts in order to obtain advance sales commissions to which they were not entitled.
Jessee Allen DeLoach, 40, and Natasha Ashley Miller DeLoach, 38, both pleaded guilty yesterday to one count of wire fraud.
According to court documents, the DeLoaches owned a real estate agency called Koltown Properties, Inc., which operated in Southwest Virginia. Between March 2016 and November 2019, the defendants created at least nineteen phony residential sales contracts and submitted them to multiple advance commission companies throughout the country in order to fraudulently obtain money.
Advance commission companies provide a financial service to real estate agents by assisting them with cash flow. Specifically, real estate agents may sell portions of their pending commissions on legitimate residential sales contracts in exchange for access to cash before the closing date.
One scheme the DeLoaches used was to create entirely false sales contracts for properties they knew were either not under contract or that listed buyers and sellers who did not exist. In another scheme, the DeLoaches altered valid residential sales contracts to reflect that no other real estate agent was involved in order to double their claimed sales commissions. To further their schemes, the DeLoaches created fake title companies, including one named Excel Title Company, to validate the fraudulent contracts to the advance commission companies so they would in turn authorize commission payments to the DeLoaches.
United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI made the announcement.
Both Natasha and Jessee DeLoach pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and agreed to pay over $146,000 in restitution. At sentencing, the couple faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Virginia State Police investigated the case, with assistance from the Wise County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher is prosecuting the case.