Former Dallas Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart was arrested Thursday after he was indicted with eight others in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that swindled more than $20 million from several home lenders, federal officials said.
The U.S. Attorney's Office said Lockhart and the others made 54 fraudulent loan closings for single-family homes in the Dallas area that totaled about $20.5 million. The scheme started in February 2001 and involved obtaining loans to buy distressed or pre-forclosure properties sold at inflated prices. The defendants kept the surplus loan proceeds, according to the federal indictment.
Authorities allege the group recruited "straw" buyers and purchasers and doctored financial statements so the lender would approve the loans.
"The people involved are escrow officers, appraisers, title companies ... the gamut of real estate," said FBI spokesman Mark White. "That's usually how these things work. It takes somebody in every single area to get this thing to work."
The indictment charges Lockhart, 48, of Carrollton, with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Lockhart was involved with several real estate businesses, including America's Team Mortgage, America's Team Realty, Cowboys Realty and KLT Properties, according to the indictment. He's accused of collaborating with the eight others to devise the scheme and helping obtain inflated appraisals.
Cowboys Mortgage owner Lendell Beacham, 54, of DeSoto, also was arrested. He faces one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and one count of wire fraud.
Lockhart and Beacham were expected to make an initial appearance later Thursday. They did not yet have attorneys, White said. A telephone number for Lockhart's home also could not immediately be found.
The others are expected to surrender to the FBI by Friday, expect for one who is currently serving a federal sentence, federal officials said.
Lockhart played for the Cowboys from 1984 through 1990 and for New England in 1991-92. He recorded 16 career quarterback sacks and made six interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
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