Charlotte, NC -- Federal prosecutors say members of a crime ring previously described as stealing more than $75 million by defrauding mortgage lenders also cheated investors, bribed bank employees, laundered money, and dealt drugs.
Prosecutors in Charlotte said this week nine more people from Charlotte, Iowa, Georgia and Washington, D.C., have been charged in the case nicknamed Operation Wax House, raising the number of defendants to 92. Sixty-six have pleaded guilty.
The U.S. Attorneys' Office says the group targeted professional athletes, doctors and others to invest in a series of sham corporations. Law enforcement officials say the ring also recruited people to buy luxury homes at inflated prices and borrow mortgages. The buyers got kickbacks, while the group pocketed profits between the true home value paid to builders and the inflated price.