Realtor Pleads Guilty to Ponzi Scheme

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GREENEVILLE, Tenn. — A Bristol realtor pleaded guilty to numerous charges after swindling numerous customers, causing losses in excess of $1 million in a Ponzi scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.


Tammy Lynn Hawk, 47, of Bristol, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and filing a false tax return.


"Hawk faces an agreed sentence of 10 years in Federal prison, plus up to $1.25 million in fines, and supervised release of three years," according to the DOJ's press release.


Hawk was a licensed real estate agent and as part of the scheme, she falsely told current and former customers about parcels of real estate that she could arrange for them to purchase and "flip" for substantial gains, according to the plea agreement. After customers provided Hawk with cash, she then used the money for her own benefit or would repay previously defrauded customers with it, the plea agreement added.


The DOJ added as part of the scheme, Hawk also signed at least one customer’s name to a purchase and sale agreement without the customer’s knowledge or consent. Hawk caused or intended to cause losses to 24 victims in excess of $1 million, according to the DOJ. Hawk also had unpaid income taxes of more than $100,000, the DOJ added.


Reported by: WCYB