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Two men accused of fraud are pleading guilty, including Travis Wright, whose Waterford Loan Fund was described as a Ponzi scheme that took in $170 million.
A federal judge has scheduled a change of plea hearing for Wright for Thursday. Wright, 48, and the U.S. Attorney's Office have been negotiating a plea deal since Wright was charged with one count of mail fraud in January.
Wright ran the Waterford Loan Fund, Waterford Funding and related companies that a bankruptcy trustee and federal prosecutors say was largely a Ponzi scheme. Money from new investors went to pay older investors to make the operation appear profitable and continue to attract new funds.
Christopher D. Hales pleaded guilty to a bank fraud charge for his role as the ringleader of a series of mortgage and auto loan frauds, with his sentencing set for Aug. 30.
Hales pleaded guilty last week. He admitted to making false statements to obtain a $750,000 loan on a house purchased in a foreclosure sale for $482,000. He admitted to obtaining a false appraisal and that he falsified loan application documents, claiming he earned $15,000 a month.
Hales said he then recruited a straw buyer and obtained another loan to purchase the property for $1 million, saying he had done extensive remodeling when he had not.
Nine other charges are to be dismissed and the U.S. Attorney's Office has agreed to recommend a 7½-year sentence, with $5 million in restitution, though Hales does not appear to have much in the way of assets.