Two Collin County men who were part of a grow operation in Van Alstyne have pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a combination foreclosure rescue and drug distribution scheme.
Jarrod Williams, 34, and Julius Williams, 43, both of McKinney, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos L. Mazzant.
The Williams brothers — Jarrod, Julius and Charles — were arrested June 19 at 518 Nunalee Ave. as part of an FBI raid on the the marijuana grow operation being conducted at the residence. The Van Alstyne drug operation was just one cog in the machinery of a complicated fraud scheme as charged by a federal grand jury. that on July 11 indicted the brothers.
According to information presented in court, from February 2007 to June 2012, Jarrod Williams, Julius Williams and co-defendant Charles Williams controlled and operated Applied Investment Strategies, Inc. (AIS), which marketed itself as a foreclosure rescue service offering assistance to homeowners at risk of foreclosure. However, once a homeowner retained AIS, the defendants fraudulently used the customer’s personal identification information to prepare and send false military orders to banks and lending institutions in order to claim relief from foreclosure under the Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act. AIS would then lease out the home and collect rental payments for AIS’ benefit.
The scheme involved approximately 38 homes throughout North Texas and also extended to interfering in the repossession of automobiles. After at least one of the fraudulently-acquired properties was vacated, Charles Williams, Christopher Carter (who was also arrested in Van Alstyne) and Sean Harrell turned it into a marijuana grow operation that housed approximately 1,300 marijuana plants that were intended for distribution.
Jarrod Williams and Julius Williams both face up to five years in federal prison at sentencing. Charles Williams, 38, of McKinney, pleaded guilty on Dec. 18, to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana. He faces up to 20 years on the fraud charges and between 10 years and life on the drug charge. Sean Harrell, 37, of Dallas, pleaded guilty on Aug. 7, to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute marijuana and faces from 10 years to life at sentencing. Sentencing dates have not been set.
Carter, 33, of Leicester, England, was sentenced to 41 months in federal prison on Apr. 12, for conspiracy to distribute marijuana.