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Martinez businessman sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud

Business owner defrauded federal lender

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EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this story incorrectly reported Fred Layman's ownership status of North Augusta country club.


Fred Layman stood before a federal judge Wednesday as a broken man, pausing to collect his composure as he read an apology he spent a year writing.

Seven months after pleading guilty to charges of mortgage fraud, the North Augusta Country Club owner asked for a mulligan from U.S. District Judge Randall Hall.

“I made a decision five years ago that went against my upbringing,” Layman said. “There are no excuses, and I take full responsibility.”

Layman bought the 135-acre country club in April 2007. Its main building was destroyed in a suspicious fire four days later.

The apology capped a two-hour sentence hearing for the Martinez businessman, who is accused of having his stepdaughter falsify financial information on mortgage loan applications involving the federal lender Fannie Mae between December 2006 and December 2007. He faced more than two years in federal prison, but Hall made a downward departure in the sentencing guidelines and sentenced Layman to 16 months in prison, followed by three years’ probation.

It was still a blow for Layman’s supporters, who showed up in hopes of convincing the judge to give Layman just probation.

His stepdaughter, Leah Naz­zaro, who was not involved in the scheme, said her stepfather is not the person he has been portrayed to be.

“What’s said about him is far apart from who he is. It’s black and white,” Nazzaro said.

After more than an hour of sympathetic testimony, Assistant United States Attorney David Stewart made the argument that by defrauding a federally backed institution, Layman was hurting the taxpayers of America.

Hall repeated that assertion in delivering the sentence.

The taxpayers “are in fact all of us in this room,” Hall said.

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rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 09/28/11 - 08:34 pm
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What was the outcome of the

What was the outcome of the fire investigation? Was it arson? Was the stepdaughter involved or not? There are people in surrounding communies who have spent time in federal prison for defrauding a financial institution to buy a golf course.

augusta citizen
10990
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augusta citizen 09/28/11 - 09:58 pm
0
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rmwardsr, I've always

rmwardsr, I've always wondered about the fire myself. I have never heard that it was determined as arson, but always thought the timing of the purchase and the fire were odd, to say the least. I know that many N. Augusta CC members had high hopes when Mr. Layman bought the property, apparently many promises were made that didn't happen. What is the status of NACC now? Is it even in existence?

Craig Spinks
819
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Craig Spinks 09/29/11 - 03:48 am
0
0
Layman said he was sorry.

Layman said he was sorry. He'll have the rest of his life to prove that his words were spoken truthfully.

Riverman1
124349
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Riverman1 09/29/11 - 04:36 am
0
0
Was Ken Whisenhunt a part

Was Ken Whisenhunt a part owner of that thing at one time or was that a different place?

papaya1
0
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papaya1 09/29/11 - 06:54 am
0
0
Fred layman has two former

Fred layman has two former stepdaughters. Leah and (respecting her decision to remain unnamed) "A".

messy
0
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messy 09/29/11 - 07:58 am
0
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What was the amount of money

What was the amount of money that he defrauded from lender?

rocketserve
285
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rocketserve 09/29/11 - 08:50 am
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Layman also bought in Forest
Unpublished

Layman also bought in Forest Hills Racket Club (Rae's Creek now)back in the late 90's and he came in and made promises to members about expansion and upgrades and most of which never happened. I left in 2001 and I didn't see any improvements.

Cynical old woman
1113
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Cynical old woman 09/29/11 - 08:51 am
0
0
Why wasn't the lender

Why wasn't the lender charged? Surely, the loan officer HAD to know something wasn't right! And what about charges against the step-daughter??

Cynical old woman
1113
Points
Cynical old woman 09/29/11 - 08:51 am
0
0
Why wasn't the lender

Why wasn't the lender charged? Surely, the loan officer HAD to know something wasn't right! And what about charges against the step-daughter??

messy
0
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messy 09/30/11 - 01:39 pm
0
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I just found out that he

I just found out that he defrauded the lender of about $400,000. He only got 16months in prison for that...Its ridiculous that you get off so easy when you commit a white collar crime.

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