A former real estate appraiser from Kentucky will spend the next 10 months in either prison or home confinement after admitting in court that he lied on federal appraisal forms and used unlicensed individuals to do his work for him.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Kentucky, Matt Garner pleaded guilty earlier this year to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and making false statements to a federal agency.
Court documents showed that Garner, a former licensed real estate appraiser, made false statements about appraisals he submitted to lenders in connection with federally backed mortgages.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Garner owned and operated Garner & Associates, a company based in Lexington, Kentucky. From 2012 through 2016, Garner’s company was paid to do more than 700 real estate appraisals in various counties surrounding Lexington and Owensboro, Kentucky.
But, in pleading guilty, Garner admitted in court that on many of those appraisals, he paid unlicensed individuals a small portion of the appraisal fee to perform the appraisals on his behalf.
Then, Garner falsely certified on various federal appraisal forms that he personally visited the properties in question and conducted the appraisal, when, in reality, he had not.
Earlier this week, Senior U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Hood sentenced Garner to five months in prison and five months home confinement. Federal law dictates that Garner must serve 85% of his prison sentence.
After his incarceration is over, Garner will also be under supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.
Garner was also ordered to pay a $5,500 fine.