ABINGDON, Va. – A Wise County husband and wife were sentenced for wire fraud while working together as a realtor team in Southwest Virginia, according to the Department of Justice.
The couple, Jessee DeLoach and Natasha DeLoach, both pleaded guilty to wire fraud in February 2022, and on Friday, the DOJ said they were both sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.
The release said their federal wire fraud charges were related to their scheme to create fake residential sales contracts to get advance sales commissions, which were not theirs.
The release said that in addition to their prison sentence, they also agreed to pay $146,273 in restitution.
Their scheme, according to court documents referenced in the release, happened while the DeLoaches owned a real estate agency out of Southwest Virginia, called Koltown Properties, Inc.
Between March 2016 and November 2019, the DOJ said the couple created at least nineteen fake home sale contracts and submitted them to advance commission companies, which assist real estate agents with cash flow, to fraudulently get money.
According to the DOJ, the DeLoaches also altered valid home sale contracts to make it seem like no other realtors were involved to claim double the commissions.
The couple also created fake title companies to validate the fake contracts so that the advance commission companies would authorize the payments, the release said.
The DOJ said the couple got over $300,000 in advance sales commissions over the entirety of their schemes.
The FBI and the Virginia State Police assisted the case with assistance from the Wise County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Lena L. Busscher is prosecuting the case according to the DOJ.