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Federal Indictments Handed Down Against Emmetsburg Woman

By Staff | Oct 28, 2010

SIOUX CITY A multi-count Federal Indictment has detailed numerous charges against an Emmetsburg woman. According to dockets filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Iowa District in Sioux City, 59-year old Jean Hoffert was charged with a total of 25 counts in the Federal Grand Jury indictment.

The indictment, which was unsealed on Tuesday, Oct. 26, charged Hoffer with 13 county of Mail Fraud, as well as six counts of Bank Fraud. Hoffert was also charged with three counts of Money Laundering and three counts of Aggravated Identity Theft.

The charges stemmed from an investigation by authorities that began over a year ago. The indictment alleges Hoffert, acting as a real estate broker, fraudulently kept portions of sales or mortgage loan proceeds for her self between the Spring of 2005 and the Summer of 2008. Hoffert allegedly used the money for personal purposes, rather than using it to pay off customers’ existing mortgage loans on properties as is required by law.

The indictment alleges in one specific incident, Hoffert used over $18,000 of loan funds to pay off a personal automobile loan for herself.

It is further alleged in the indictment that Hoffert tried to conceal the fraudulent actions by making payments on existing mortgage loans, and to do so, she allegedly used account numbers and the names of other individuals without their authorization. Hoffert also allegedly had original mortgage lenders send account statements and other financial correspondence to a post office box under Hoffert’s control in order to further conceal the fraudulent activities.

Hoffert appeared in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City for the unsealing of the indictment on Tuesday and was released on bond, with her next court appearance scheduled for January 3, 2011.

If she is convicted on all 25 charges, Hoffert would face a mandatory minimum sentence of two years’ imprisonment, but she could also face a possible maximum sentence of 476 years’ in prison and 81 years of supervised release following any incarceration.

Additionally, Hoffert could face a maximum fine of $6,250,000 on the charges, and could also be ordered to pay some $2,500 in special assessments.

The investigation of the case was conducted by officers of the Emmetsburg and Spencer Police Departments, along with agents of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, U.S. Postal Inspectors and agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.