Saturday, October 11, 2014



Tampa man sentenced to 26 years in prison for foreclosure fraud  
Jessica Vander Velde         Tampa Bay Times                Tuesday, April 23, 2013

TAMPA — A Tampa man has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for foreclosure fraud, and authorities say he defaulted on $1.4 million in loans.

According to federal court documents, John W. Lebron, 33, orchestrated foreclosure rescue fraud and short sale fraud, sometimes called "flopping" a house.

Lebron, who was a licensed real estate agent at the time, opened a company called EZ Investments in 2005 with his wife, Trisha Lebron. In their first deal, Lebron arranged for his sister to buy a house that was falling into foreclosure.

John Lebron controlled both ends of the deal — and also served as the loan officer. He got the mortgage broker's commission, even though he put another loan officer's name
on the paperwork to hide his plan. He pocketed the proceeds from the sale.

Then, Lebron arranged a short sale of the house to his brother-in-law, Paul Robert Gogolewski, and simultaneously set up the sale of the house to another straw buyer, whom Lebron arranged to buy the house before the short sale proposal was submitted to the bank.

Lebron gathered fake pay stubs to make it appear this unemployed straw buyer was eligible for a loan. Lebron and his family members pocketed the money from the loan, as well as other commissions and fees. The straw buyers each were paid $5,000 for their help.

In addition to this, Lebron got four other loans through fraud, court records show.

He was arrested in June 2011 and is no longer licensed as a real estate agent.

On Oct. 19, after a three-week jury trial, he was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud affecting a financial institution and making false statements to a financial institution.

A judge ordered that Lebron return nearly $1.5 million, and on Friday he was sentenced to 26 years in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

COMMENTS EXPOSING JESSICA VANDER VELDE and printed in the newspaper:

Patricia LeBron (formerly Patricia Kumer - John LeBron's wife), and Paul Robert Gogolewski (his brother-in-law) were also convicted, sitting alongside John LeBron in the same trial, an astounding omission from Jessica Vander Velde's coverage.

Instead Velde mentions by name a witness for the prosecution, while failing to identify by name the convicted felon co-defendants, and the most amazing part of the story: How liar Lebron's behavior (probably including Lebron's duping of Jessica Vander Velde) led to the arrest of other family members of John William Lebron.

Another error is the quote "The Tampa Bay Times wrote about Lebron in January 2011, before this arrest." WRONG. The Times did a piece about Lebron AFTER his arrest, and the piece was ridiculous because the Times did not figure out that it was being duped
by Lebron, who failed to mention that he had been arrested on new charges in an enormous real estate fraud conspiracy, that the Times failed to discover and report. That TBT quote proves that when Velde wrote her second piece on Lebron, she had not figured out that she had been duped by Lebron in her first piece on Lebron. LeBron's arrest was SIX MONTHS BEFORE Velde's first piece where she was conned by Lebron.

After Velde's article the government arrested Patricia LeBron, Paul Robert Gogolewski, and Lebron's sister. Perhaps that is why Velde fails to explain how Lebron earned his record-setting sentence. Velde missed the FBI's press release about Lebron's arrest back in June 2010.

John W. Lebron - America's Dumbest Criminal? -That was the question unwittingly raised by Velde and the photograph in her earlier article. Velde also failed to note that liar LeBron had a pending violation of probation (for Lebron's prior felony drug crime) based on the new arrest. America's Dumbest Criminal duped America's Dumbest Newspaper. America's Dumbest Newspaper duped America's Dumbest Readers. Velde not only failed to expose Lebron's criminal activity, she failed to discover that he had already been arrested for it. She could not figure out what happened. Perhaps she never will.

According to the United States Attorney's Office, John LeBron, Patricia LeBron, and Paul Gogolewski were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. John Lebron's mugshot is visible on the Pinellas County Sheriff's website, and Patricia Lebron's mug shot is visible on the Hillsborough County Sheriff's website (under "Patricia Kumer" and for an earlier unrelated arrest).

It was also a big surprise to Jessica Vander Velde when LeBron was sentenced to 26 years in prison, and the part that she and some commenters played in the hefty sentence due to being "victims" of Lebron's cons. Lebron had previously been "disbarred" from the real estate licensing board. Because of John Lebron, his wife (Patricia Lebron) faces the same predicament with real estate licensing.

For someone to act out like Lebron has for so much of his life, LeBron must have been under extreme stress and pressure, moreso now with a 26-year prison term, although he could of handled it in a better way. It was the extreme stress and pressure of new charges for a third felony with a violation of probation. Stress was from that poison he consumed all of his life, the drugs he did (his prior felonies were for drug sales). He knows that he acted in ways, in the past, that he should not have been proud of. In light of Lebron's 26-year sentence, remember that Lebron the con said "I believe in our legal system because I have went through it and I know that the judges and our peers are intelligent people who I believe, really care and know the difference between right and wrong, good and bad, the truth and lies ...I will leave all of this in the hands of God and our legal system to decide." Despite that, Lebron appealed.

Another reason for Lebron's 26-year sentence was that he caused the arrest and felony conviction of his wife (Patricia Lebron, formerly Patricia Kumer), his sister, and his brother-in-Law (Paul Robert Gogolewski), and was clearly NOT sorry for any
embarrassment this may have caused them. A newspaper's photograph asked the question: "America's Dumbest Criminal? John Lebron." Lebron is felony stupid. Trisha Lebron will have to take the kids to prison if they want to see John Lebron.

Now that he is doing 26-years in prison, perhaps people can live in peace.

P.S. There are some really good books that will teach Lebron a lot about life. Such books will find LeBron and bring him peace, as he will have a lot of time to read during his 26-year sentence.

John LeBron is in prison for 26 years. "America's Dumbest Criminal? John W. Lebron" -That was the question raised by the "newspaper" and its photograph. Lebron's record-breaking 26-year term was imposed for many reasons, including all the people that John William Lebron conned (e.g. Lebron fooled the paper's writer Jessica Vander Velde and many of her readers). Lebron did not tell Velde that LeBron was under indictment and on pre-trial release for new felony charges in an enormous fraud conspiracy & violation of probation (for Lebron's prior felony drug crime). Velde failed to do that basic research too. America's Dumbest Criminal fooled America's Dumbest Newspaper. And LeBron tricked his many supporters who (both ignorantly and intentionally) “helped” him achieve his record-setting sentence in prison. After Velde's article (and perhaps in part because of Lebron's conning of Velde etc while Lebron was awaiting trial), the government added to Lebron's indictment his sister, his brother-in-law (Paul Robert Gogolewski), and his wife (Patricia LeBron, formerly Patricia Kumer). According to the United States Attorney's Office, John LeBron, Patricia LeBron, and Paul Gogolewski were found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Federal Jury Convicts Three Of Mortgage Fraud "Flopping"

October 19, 2012
Tampa, Florida – The U.S. Attorney announced that a federal jury today found John Lebron (33, Tampa), Patricia Lebron (36, Tampa), and Paul Gogolewski (31, Tampa) guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. John Lebron was also found guilty of making false statements to financial institutions. All three individuals face a maximum penalty of 30 years imprisonment. Their sentencings are scheduled for January 18, 2013.
According to the testimony and evidence presented at trial, the individuals conspired together to "flop" houses. "Flopping" is a form of short sale fraud involving conducting a short sale on a property and then "flipping" the property in a non-arms' length transaction.
John Lebron was a Florida-licensed realtor and worked as a loan officer. Patricia Lebron is a Florida-licensed realtor. Paul Gogolewski was the President of Synergy Solutions. Together, they targeted unsophisticated, low income homeowners, who were in financial distress and convinced them to sell their houses to a straw purchaser, in a non-arms' length transaction. For a brief period of time, the conspirators would pay the mortgage payments but then stopped. They then arranged a short sale of the property from the straw purchaser to one of the conspirators. In that short sale, the lender to the straw purchaser suffered an immediate loss of approximately 80% of the original loan. Then, six days later but using deeds recorded simultaneously, the properties were re-sold to another straw purchaser for approximately 350% more than the short sale amount. In these deals, the conspirators pocketed the money that should have gone to the original distressed home owner, received the mortgage broker commission for arranging the first straw purchaser's loan, and got the difference between the short sale amount and the new loan. The straw purchasers were all paid $5,000 for their role. In all, this case involved at $1.5 million dollars in loans.
“The U.S. Secret Service takes great pleasure in working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to bring these individuals to justice," said the Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service. "This case is particularly egregious on several fronts. Mr. Lebron had the audacity to commit his fraudulent acts while he was on probation, he involved his family members and he defaulted on $1.4 million in loans. These individuals knowingly preyed upon and abused the financial system that supports home mortgages for their own personal gain."
In addition, John Lebron acquired four other loans through fraud. He used false identities, verified his own false employment, and for at least one of the properties, bought it as his primary residence when he legally could not move into it. John Lebron committed these crimes while on pretrial release and probation.

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