A former commercial real estate agent and businessman who pled guilty in 2012 to various federal charges was recently sentenced in court. Michael Wayne Harding, 59, of Keswick, Virginia pled guilty to one count each of bankruptcy fraud and wire fraud after waving his right to an indictment.

Harding will complete 30 months in federal prison for charges related to bankruptcy and wire fraud after admitting to the crimes in a previous hearing. Along with his prison sentence he will pay over $2 million in restitution.

Harding was sole employee and president of a company called HMC Holdings. He used the company to secure mortgages based on improvements made on the properties. In order to secure any mortgages he needed to provide mortgage companies proof such improvements were made on the properties. Harding admitted he provided false invoices to make it look like the improvements were made to get mortgages secured.

Harding admitted he kept funds for his personal use from checks he received from the mortgage companies. The checks were intended for contractors to complete any work necessary on the properties. Harding would take the checks to local businesses and convert them into personal funds.

He admitted his April 2011 bankruptcy filing had false or missing information. He admitted he failed to deposit funds into his debtor-in-possession account required by the court. He admitted to filing false monthly reports and forging signatures on a number of documents including deeds of trust, releases and liens. He also lied about a proposed sale of property and a relationship with a business partner while his company was in bankruptcy.

The investigation was completed by a number of government agencies including the FBI, the IRS, the Virginia State Police and U.S. Trustee.

Reference: http://www.fbi.gov/richmond/press-releases/2014/local-businessman-sentenced-on-fraud-bankruptcy-charges

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