United States v. Phillips, No. 11-3822 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
After being rejected for a mortgage because Hall had a bankruptcy and their joint income was too low, Hall and Phillips applied with Bowling, a mortgage broker, under the “stated income loan program.” Bowling prepared an application that omitted Hall’s name, attributed double their combined income to Phillips, and falsely claimed that Phillips was a manager. Phillips signed the application and employment verification form. Fremont extended credit. They could not make the payments; the lender foreclosed. Bowling repeated this process often. He pleaded guilty to bank fraud and, to lower his sentence, assisted in prosecution of his clients. Phillips and Hall were convicted under 18 U.S.C. 1014. The district court prohibited them from eliciting testimony that Bowling assured them that the program was lawful and from arguing mistake of fact in signing the documents. The Seventh Circuit first affirmed, but granted rehearing en banc to clarify elements of the crime and their application to charges of mortgage fraud and reversed. The judge excluded evidence that, if believed, might have convinced a jury that any false statements made by the defendants were not known by them to be false and might also have rebutted an inference of intent to influence the bank.
This opinion or order relates to an opinion or order originally issued on August 2, 2012.