Crime & Courts

Lexington man sentenced for mortgage fraud

A Lexington man was sentenced in federal court Monday for wire fraud.

Lexington’s Michael Yant, 40, was sentenced to to five months in jail, followed by five months of home confinement, in U.S. District Court in Columbia, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday, adding Yant also was ordered to pay almost $270,000 in restitution.

Yant committed mortgage fraud on 15 Federal Housing Administration loans, said Holliday, adding Yant engaged in a prohibited rent-to-own scheme where he collected rent from future buyers and used that money for the buyer’s down payment at closing. Holliday also said Yant added buyers to other people’s credit accounts as authorized users to enhance the buyer’s credit scores.

Yant admitted to falsifying bank statements, Holliday said. Yant provided forged W-2s and pay stubs for buyers, as well as prepared false employment verifications, said Holliday, adding Yant secured FHA loans for buyers who wouldn’t qualify by paying off the buyers’ debt and collection accounts to increase the buyers’ credit scores.