A California man has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after pretending to own two waterfront mansions and taking out $1.8 million in mortgages on the Fort Lauderdale properties.
George French Jones Jr., 50, of Santa Monica is accused of falsifying documents to make it look like he owned the mansions and using the fake paperwork to land the loans.
U.S. District Judge Robert Scola in Miami sentenced Jones on Friday to 116 months in prison and ordered him to pay more than $1.8 million in restitution.
Defense attorney Ana Davide of the Law Offices of Ana M. Davide in Miami didn’t return a request for comment by deadline.
Jones was charged last October with two counts of mail fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Under a plea agreement signed Dec. 21, Jones agreed to plead guilty to one count each of mail fraud and identity theft.
Jones was accused of creating fake corporations with names that closely resembled the corporations that own a four-bedroom waterfront home 41 Nurmi Drive and a new five-bedroom house at 1525 SE 10th St.
He also created email addresses and opened bank accounts in the names of the fraudulent corporations. He also had a fake Canadian passport in the name of one of the true property owners, which was the basis of the identify theft count.
The mail fraud count stems from Jones using FedEx to mail the sham loan documents, and the identity theft count in tied to the fake Canadian passport.
In his plea agreement, Jones agreed to forfeit his Chevrolet Suburban and $631,504 in accounts at BB&T Bank, Regions Bank and Bank of America.