Ross D. Pickard, former JPMorgan Chase & Co. senior loan officer, recently admitted to conspiracy to commit loan and credit application fraud of $33 million. Florida U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Hernandez accepted the guilty plea and set the sentencing date for August 17. He faces up to five years in prison on the single conspiracy count.
Pickard agreed to cooperate in the investigation and persecution of co-conspirators as well as pay restitution in the amount of $33 million to JPMorgan Chase. In return, the government will drop four counts for loan and credit application fraud and not object to Pickard seeking the low end of sentencing according to the court-calculated guidelines.
Pickard’s day-to-day duties included assisting property buyers obtain mortgage loans, assisting them filling out Uniform Residential Loan Application forms and certifying the accuracy of the information. According to his plea agreement, Pickard and his co-conspirators submitted these forms to JPMorgan Chase’s credit underwriting department.
Prosecutors claim that they made and caused to be made knowingly false statements such as the mortgage applicants’ intended use for the properties as well as the buyers’ income, assets, and liabilities.
The four loans that Pickard certified and submitted said the buyer planned to use the property as a second residence instead of an investment property. The properties were in Sarasota, Orlando, Bradenton, and Clearwater ranging from $297,000 to $1 million each.
Christopher Poor and Suzanne C. Nebesky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida represent the United States.
Mark P. Rankin of Shutts & Bowen LLP represents Pickard.