Man Faces Federal Charges For Foreclosure Fraud
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A former Wilson County man who told struggling homeowners he would help save their homes from foreclosure now faces federal fraud charges.
This comes nearly five years after NewsChannel 5 Investigates first exposed Charles Jones and his company Dont4close.com during the height of the foreclosure crisis.
And the feds' case against Jones goes all the way back to what we first found him doing.
Back in February of 2009, NewsChannel 5 Investigates tried to ask Charles Jones about what we'd uncovered. He denied there was anything wrong and said, "Ma'am, I have no comment. You're trying to create a story and there's no story there."
Yet five years later, Jones now finds himself charged with fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud as federal prosecutors allege that he defrauded lenders of millions of dollars through an elaborate real estate and loan scheme we first exposed.
Jones ran Dont4close.com and homeowners told NewsChannel 5 Investigates back then how they turned to Jones and his company after they fell behind on their mortgage payments.
Kelly Reynolds was one of those homeowners. She described Jones as "very reassuring. And, he said, 'I promise that you will not lose your home.'"
But Reynolds and other homeowners instead later discovered, Jones had sold their homes right out from under them.
According to the federal indictment, Jones used friends as straw borrowers to get fraudulent loans to buy these distressed properties.
One of those straw borrowers was a woman we found named Glad Romano.
We asked her about a home that, according to the loan and closing documents we'd discovered, had recently been sold to her.
"Did you buy this property?" NewsChannel 5 Investigates asked Romano.
"Yes, I did," she told us at first.
She eventually admitted however to us that she'd simply let Jones use her name to buy that and other homes.
We also found homes were purchased and sold with documents that had questionable signatures.
Sheila Crawford had worked for Jones and when we showed her closing documents that had her name on them, she was surprised by the signatures she saw on it.
"That's supposed to be my signature?" Crawford asked. "No, that's not. That is not my signature."
And there was a secretly recorded tape we obtained where Jones explained what he was doing and how.
On the recording, Jones can be heard saying, "I'm using equity from a property to be able to fund other properties which in turn keep rolling over and over and over and over and over."
When Jones refused to discuss what we'd found, we asked, "Why won't you talk to us?"
Jones replied, "Because nothing good is going to come out of it."
In addition to Jones, prosecutors are also going after two of his former employees, and sources tell us it's likely others will be named in the case as well.
Jones was living in Georgia when he was arrested. He was brought back to Nashville earlier this month and made his first court appearance here where he pled not guilty.