|Former NFL star Sean Jones indicted on fraud charges|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 14 June 2007 09:30|
HOUSTON (AP) -Former NFL defensive lineman Sean Jones surrendered to the FBI on Thursday after he and four others were charged with bank fraud in an alleged scheme to pocket portions of more than $42 million in mortgage loans.|
Jones, now a 45-year-old sports agent in Beverly Hills, Calif., played with the Los Angeles Raiders, Houston Oilers and Green Bay Packers from 1984-1996. According to a federal indictment unsealed Thursday, the men face 12 counts of bank fraud, which carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison.
Prosecutors contend the men defrauded three Houston banks by acquiring mortgage loans far in excess of the properties' value and then diverting the money for personal use.
Also charged were Jerome Karam, an attorney and real estate developer; Tommy Jay Trammel and David Ranostaj, former loan officers with Southwest Bank of Texas, Bank of Houston and Whitney National Bank; and Jay Westrick, a real estate appraiser.
The indictment charges the men with colluding from 1999-2001 to acquire more than $42 million in loans based on false appraisals by Westrick and then divert the money to their personal accounts at closing.
Jones, Karam, Trammel and Ranostaj set up shell corporations to disguise their role in the enterprise, according to the indictment.
Federal officials say Trammel's and Ranostaj's role in the scheme was unknown to their supervisors at the banks.
Each of the men faces a maximum sentence of up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1 million.
Jones played with the Raiders from 1984-1987, then joined the Oilers, where he played until his only Pro Bowl season in 1993. He went to Green Bay the following year and was on the Packers' Super Bowl-winning team in 1996.
Jones has been plagued with legal and financial problems in recent years. Arbitrator Roger Kaplan ruled in 2003 that Jones violated NFL Players Association rules in a financial arrangement he had with NFL player Ebenezer Ekuban, who later declared bankruptcy. Kaplan suspended Jones for two years, blocking him from representing NFL players until 2005.
Former Houston Oiler Cris Dishman also sued Jones and won $396,000 from him after a failed financial investment.
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