Saturday, March 22, 2014
Michael Wayne Harding pleaded guilty
Michael Wayne Harding, 59, Keswick, Virginia, a businessman and former commercial real estate agent who pled guilty last year to a variety of federal fraud charges, was sentenced in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Charlottesville. The defendant previously waived his right to be indicted and entered a plea of guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of bankruptcy fraud. In district court, Harding was sentenced to 30 months of federal incarceration. In addition, the defendant was ordered to pay more than $2,019,403 in restitution. According to a statement of facts agreed to by the defendant and admitted to the court at a previous hearing, Harding was the president and sole employee of a company called HMC Holdings. On numerous occasions, Harding attempted to secure mortgages for properties HMC Holdings owned based on improvements that had been made to those properties. However, in order to secure the mortgages, Harding was required to provide the mortgage companies with proof that work had been done to the properties. Harding is alleged to have created fake invoices in order to secure the mortgages. Harding also admitted that after being issued checks by the mortgage companies intended for the contractors, Harding took those checks to local businesses and had the funds converted for his own personal use. In April 2011, Harding filed bankruptcy. The defendant admitted today that during his bankruptcy proceedings he filed false monthly operating reports, failed to deposit all income into his debtor-in-possession account (which is required by the court), and lied about forging signatures on releases, liens, and deeds of trust. The defendant also admitted to lying about his relationship with a business partner in connection with a proposed sale of property during his corporate bankruptcy.