Once the face as a local celebrity, a Dallas Cowboy has become a face of Dallas mortgage fraud. Former Cowboys linebacker Eugene Lockhart Jr. has been sentenced over convictions for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme, designed to swindle millions from struggling homeowners.
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Using his celebrity status to attract business, Lockhart and his associates ran a Dallas mortgage debt scheme involving the recruitment of “straw purchasers” to obtain loans on homes. By having the purchasers falsify their incomes to purchase loans on homes with inflated home prices, Lockhart offered promises to help with mortgage payments. Instead, he and his team pocketed the funds and split on the recruited loan applicants.
It is estimated that Lockhart’s operations made some $20 million between 2002 and 2005 under the brokerage firm names “America’s Team Brokers” and “Cowboys Mortgage.” Lockhart was arrested in 2009 on accounts of mortgage fraud, facing 10 years in prison. The judge hearing his case heard lots of testimony of lives ruined and mortgage debt, but despite Lockhart’s celebrity support system in the courtroom audience, sentenced him to 4 1/2 years in prison for his crimes.