Monday, Dec 09 2013 05:51 PM

David Crisp's wife expected to take plea deal in mortage fraud case

By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

The wife of one of the primary defendants in the Crisp & Cole mortgage fraud case is expected to plead guilty to one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud on Dec. 16.

A news release from the Office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner said Jennifer Crisp's plea deal is expected to coincide with a motions and trial confirmation hearing for her husband, David Marshall Crisp, and Julie Farmer, Crisp & Cole's former operations manager.

More than 10 other defendants have take plea deals in the mortage-fraud case. The FBI has accused executives, employees, family members and associates of the now-defunct Crisp & Cole Real Estate and Tower Lending of defrauding mortgage lenders.

Prosecutors say the company bought and sold properties multiple times as part of a scheme that skimmed equity built up through artificially inflated home values. Most of the properties were foreclosed on, costing lenders nearly $30 million.

David Crisp, a principal of Crisp, Cole & Associates, the now-defunct firm at the center of the case, and Farmer are the only remaining defendants. Carl Cole, the other man at the center of the case, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud, and faces a minimum of eight years in prison.

Sentencing for Cole is scheduled for Feb. 18.

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