U.S. Attorney’s Office
December 15, 2015
Middle District of Florida
Hillsborough County Resident Sentenced to Prison for Bankruptcy Fraud and Lying to the Office of the U.S. Trustee
TAMPA, FL—U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore has sentenced David W. Griffin (44, Lutz) to three years in federal prison for bankruptcy fraud and making a false statement during a bankruptcy proceeding.
According to court documents, Griffin operated a foreclosure rescue scheme through his companies, Bay2Bay Area Holding, LLC and Business Development Consultants, LLC. The purpose of the scheme was to obtain quitclaim or warranty deeds from distressed homeowners facing foreclosure in return for false promises to rescue their homes from foreclosure by negotiating with creditors, renting the properties back to the homeowners to obtain rental income, and falsely promising that the homeowners could repurchase the properties from Griffin. To maximize his rental income, Griffin also prevented creditors and guarantors, including the Federal National Mortgage Association (“Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Housing Administration, from pursuing lawful foreclosure and eviction actions against homeowners who had defaulted on their mortgages. This was accomplished by filing, and causing to be filed, fraudulent bankruptcies in the names of the homeowners without their knowledge or consent.
Griffin also lied under oath in sworn testimony before the Office of the United States Trustee. Under penalty of perjury, Griffin stated that he had no knowledge of a bankruptcy petition filed in the name of his company, Bay2Bay Area Holding Group. In fact, Griffin prepared the petition and directed another individual to sign and file the petition with the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida.
Griffin has agreed to make full restitution to the Clerk for the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Middle District of Florida. The losses are approximately $25,125.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Housing Finance Agency—Office of Inspector General, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development—Office of Inspector General. The Office of the United States Trustee in Tampa also provided substantial assistance. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor.