Businessman and former commercial real estate agent, Michael Harding, 59, who pled guilty last year to a variety of federal fraud charges has been sentenced in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville.
Harding had previously waived his right to be indicted and had entered a guilty plea to one count of wire fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud.
30 Months of Federal Incarceration
Harding was sentenced to 30 months of federal incarceration in district court. Additionally the defendant was ordered to pay more than $2,019,403 in restitution.
According to a statement of facts that was agreed to and admitted to by the defendant, Harding was the president and sole employee of a company called HMC Holdings.
In order to secure mortgages for properties owned by HMC Holdings, Harding was required to provide mortgage companies with proof that improvements had been made to the properties. Harding is alleged to have created fake invoices, showing the improvements had been made, in order to secure the mortgages.
Harding admitted that he pocketed checks issued by the mortgage companies that were intended for the contractors’ work.
Lying During April 2011 Bankruptcy
The defendant also admitted that he has filed false monthly operating reports, failed to deposit all income into his debtor-in-possession account (required by the court), and lied about forging signatures on releases, liens, and deeds of trust during his April 2011 bankruptcy proceedings. Harding also admitted he had lied about his relationship with a business partner in connection with a proposed sale of property during this corporate bankruptcy.
The investigation was conducted by the Albemarle County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office, the Virginia State Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, IRS Criminal Investigation, and the Office of the United States Trustee.