A former Ohio State Highway Patrol trooper was sentenced on Monday to 50 months in prison and $617,600 in restitution to lenders he deceived through mortgage fraud.
Richardson, who pleaded guilty in February, was convicted in connection with a conspiracy to defraud lending institutions by misleading mortgage lenders in the buying and selling of
investment properties and the refinancing of his own home, 10 Investigates’ Paul Aker reproted.
Richardson and others used false statements to hide that Richardson intended to receive money from the loan proceeds after closings. He also admitted to falsely under-reporting
incoming when filing for bankruptcy in 2007.
10 Investigates’ uncovered that Richardson also owned a night club connected to a drug ring, Aker reported.
Renea Krier, Richardson’s fiancée, said that she was standing by Richardson.
“Ben has the biggest heart of anybody I know,” Krier said. “I just think the whole this is injustice. If the truth was really out – the actual truth of the whole injustice in the case – we
wouldn’t even be here,” Krier said.
Defense attorney Jonathan Tyack said that the fact Richardson was a trooper was part of the case from the beginning.
“At the same time, none of the charges he pleaded guilty to involved him acting as a trooper,” Tyack said.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Doug Squires said that he hoped Richardson’s convictions and sentencing sends a message.
“Ben Richardson committed his mortgage fraud and obstruction while he was a peace officer,” Squires said. “Ben Richards is an anomaly and the court’s sentence sends the message
anomalies will not be tolerated.”
Richardson apologized in court on Monday.
“I’m thoroughly humiliated and disgusted with myself,” Richardson said. “The Highway Patrol with its legacy and history didn’t deserve that.”
He also apologized to his family, including his five children.
“It’s going to be difficult, but we’ve got God. He’s got us through this much. He’ll get us through the rest,” Kriersaid.
When Richardson is released from prison, he will have to pay back the $670,000 in restitution.
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