A 45-year-old Fairfield man was sentenced to five years and three months in prison last week for defrauding mortgage lenders and a Canadian investor out of $2.5 million, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner's office announced.
Alonzo Jackson Brown III convinced a Canadian investor to give him $1 million "by promising to invest the money in high-yield 'trades' that would return $1 million per week for eight consecutive weeks," Wagner's office said in a press release. "In fact, such trades do not exist and Brown simply used the money for personal expenses, unauthorized investments in his own name, and lulling payments back to the victim."
A few months later, Brown cut off contact with the Canadian and walked away with the $635,000 that was left.
In another scheme, Brown bought at least five homes and then sold them to "unwitting straw buyers" at inflated prices, the press release stated.
Brown, who is a licensed real estate agent, provided the down payment and first few mortgage payments when "selling" the houses, then walked away.
"In this way, Brown was able to strip the inflated equity out of the property and leave the lenders with huge losses," the press release said. "Losses resulting from the five properties identified in the plea agreement amounted to more than $1.5 million."