The trial of two men accused of fraud in a multimillion-dollar mortgage scheme was postponed Wednesday after one of them accepted a plea agreement.
Jeffery David Garrett, 44, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in U.S. District Court. In exchange, federal prosecutors agreed to drop 18 other charges in an indictment.
Garrett, who worked as an escrow officer, faces up to 20 years in prison. Prosecutors, however, recommended Judge Ted Stewart lean toward the lower end of the scale. A sentencing date was not set.
Four of five defendants in the case have now pleaded guilty to conspiring to fraudulently obtain loans on Provo homes for which they grossly inflated the market values using false appraisals. Proceeds of the loans totaling about $18 million were divided among participants in the scam.
Garrett, of Provo, admitted to misrepresenting himself as Precision Title Co. executive vice president, exaggerating his income and assets on a loan application and faking a down payment.
The remaining defendant, Provo real estate agent Ron Clarke, is now scheduled for trial Aug. 25.