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Sentence Handed Down In Mortgage Fraud Case

By Staff | May 1, 2012

An Emmetsburg woman who allegedly converted mortgage loan funds for her own use has been sentenced in the U.S. District Court in Sioux City.

According to court documents, 60-year-old Jean Teresa Hoffert of Emmetsburg was sentenced to a term of 57 months of incarceration in the federal correctional systems during a sentencing hearing conducted Wednesday, April 25. The sentence came after Hoffert entered a guilty plea to one count of mail fraud in the U.S. District Court on July 5, 2011.

The original case against Hoffert stemmed from allegations that in her real estate broker’s duties as a settlement agent for customers, Hoffert did not pay off prior mortgage loans that were supposed to have been paid off following mortgage loan refinancing arranged for her clients. In some of the cases, prior mortgage loans were paid off late. Documents filed in the case by federal prosecutors stated that through her actions, Hoffert caused over $400,000 in loss to more than 10 different victims during the scheme.

Prosecutors worked out a plea arrangement last July, in which Hoffert admitted defrauding others out of money and using the U.S. Mail as part of the fraud, for a guilty plea to one count of Mail Fraud.

During last Wednesday’s sentencing, U.S. District Court Judge Mark W. Bennett sentenced Hoffert to a term of incarceration of 57 months in the federal correctional system. Additionally, Hoffert was also ordered to pay a $100 special assessment and was also ordered to make restitution of $324,088 to the individuals and banks that sustained economic loss and harm from her actions. Hoffert must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after the completion of her incarceration.

After the sentencing, Hoffert was released on the bond previously set and was to surrender herself to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons at a future date.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Peter Deegan. The case was originally investigated through the cooperative efforts of the Spencer and Emmetsburg Police Departments, as well as agents of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and inspectors of the United States Postal Inspection Service.