Former NFLer Jimmy Hitchcock was sentenced to nearly four years in federal prison and two years of supervised release for his role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy.
Hitchock, 43, who played for the Patriots, the Vikings and the Panthers between 1995 and 2002, pleaded guilty in June 2013 to mortgage fraud conspiracy, bank bribery conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. He was arrested as part of the government’s “Operation Wax House” mortgage fraud investigation. To date, more than 91 people have been charged in the operation.
The mortgage scheme operated from about 2005 to 2012. People involved were engaged in racketeering activities including investment fraud, mortgage fraud, bank fraud, money laundering and distribution of illegal drugs in North Carolina, according to LoanSafe.org, a non-profit mortgage information website.
According to court documents, Hitchcock created bogus “official cheques” that made it appear like homebuyers had made down payments when they didn’t. Documents also say he falsified documents to support the bogus cheque transactions and bribed a bank employee to provide false verifications of deposits to support the transactions.
According to the Charlotte Observer, the fraudulent transactions Hitchcock participated in ended up costing lenders $4.5 million, prosecutors said. He received about $500,000 worth of proceeds.