AKRON -- An Akron man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for leading massive mortgage fraud schemes in Ohio and Florida, said U.S. Attorney Steven M. Dettelbach.
The restitution owed by Jack R. Coppernger, 50, will be determined later this year but the government has asked for $35 million.
More than 40 people have been found guilty of crimes for their various roles in the mortgage fraud, which has led to losses of more than $36 million.
"This defendant led a ring whose crimes covered two states and resulted in losses of tens of millions of dollars," Dettelbach said.
In delivering his sentence, U.S. District Judge John Adams said to Coppenger, "This was all greed. This was all planned, this scam and scheme. You knew and you had to know when this house of cards began to fall. You're still out looking for new people to prey on."
Coppenger previously pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy. In the first count, Coppenger conspired to commit bank fraud and to make false statements to influence a bank to make a loan in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving property in the Panama City, Florida area, resulting in approximately a $36 million loss.
In the second count, Coppenger conspired to defraud the United States by impairing and impeding the ability of the I.R.S to assess Coppenger's taxes in 2006 by concealing funds Coppenger received from a land "flip" conducted by Andrew Norman and Jason Herceg.
Norman and Herceg were both recently sentenced to 40 months in prison and ordered to pay $14 million in restitution.
According to court documents, they operated a company in Stow under the name of V.P. Equity LLC and, with Coppenger, procured "straw buyers" and submitted false loan documents to banks to purchase Coppenger's lots in Florida (which had already been inflated in value as part of a land flip) in a mortgage fraud scheme.
Coppenger, with assistance from Herceg and Norman, perpetrated a large mortgage fraud scheme involving numerous straw buyers primarily from the Akron, Hartville, and Mentor areas.
Ultimately, Coppenger failed to make the mortgage payments on these loans, resulting in a loss of approximately $36 million, according to court documents.