A Homewood man, Brian K. Hughes, 41, was convicted Friday of four counts of bank fraud, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Illinois.
Hughes is the president of Hughes Corporate Consulting. He was convicted by a jury Friday of four counts of bank fraud and one count of making false statements on a loan application. Sentencing is set for June 2015.
Hughes was one of four defendants in the case. Two of the defendants, Keith B. Foster, of Harvey, and Crystal Williams, of Decatur, Ga., pleaded guilty in October. Precious W. House, of Chicago, also was convicted by jury Friday.
The federal bank fraud charges were for engaging in a scheme to fraudulently obtain 51 luxury automobile loans totaling approximately $1.6 million without ever intending that the borrowers would purchase the high-end cars that they claimed to be buying, according to the news release.
As a result, various credit union lenders, including Credit Union 1, Great Lakes Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, Pentagon Federal Credit Union, and Sherwin-Williams Credit Union, incurred losses totaling at least $853,000.
According to court records, between February and November 2013, House and Hughes recruited individuals seeking loans and agreed to find loans for them in exchange for a fee of 20 to 30 percent of the loan. The defendants obtained at least 36 automobile loans of the 51 total sought on behalf of the applicants, and the defendants fraudulently obtained approximately $1.12 million of the total $1.6 million for which they applied.
In order to obtain the loans, the defendants made, and caused the loan applicants to make, false representations in documents such as loan applications, vehicle purchase orders and verifications of employment. If the individual applicants refused to cash checks obtained as part of the scheme, Hughes threatened them with civil lawsuits and criminal prosecutions, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Each count of bank fraud and making false statements on loan applications carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Restitution is mandatory.