US DOJ Press Release - February 4, 2005
SAVANNAH, GA: Lisa Godbey Wood, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia, announced today that Swain Alvin Lewis, an attorney in Dublin, Georgia, has entered a guilty plea to a Criminal Information in United States District Court in Augusta, Georgia, before U.S. District Judge Dudley H. Bowen, Jr. Lewis was charged with misprision of felony in connection with a scheme to defraud a mortgage lender.
Lewis pled to a charge that, from August 2003 to September 2003, he knowingly concealed a scheme by a mortgage broker and others to defraud a mortgage lender, Ameritrust of Charlotte, NC. Those involved in the scheme falsely represented that the persons applying for loans with the lender were seeking “refinance” loans rather than original purchase loans. By characterizing the loans in this way, the mortgage broker and others involved in this scheme were able to conceal the actual purchase price of the properties and falsely persuade the lender that the properties were more valuable than they actually were.
The participants in the scheme were thus able to generate numerous commissions and fees for loans that would have otherwise been declined by the lender. Lewis helped to conceal the scheme by falsely indicating to the lender that the borrowers owned title to the properties allegedly being “refinanced” even though he knew that those individuals were not the actual titleholders of the properties in question.
Lewis faces up to three years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, or both, and up to one year of supervised release. A sentencing date has not yet been set.
The Courier Herald reports that according, to William P. Smith, general counsel for the state Bar of Georgia, Lewis has been disbarred by the state Bar of Georgia. Former District Attorney candidate Al Lewis’ license was officially terminated on June 30.