Agent for HUD Inspector General Indicted on mortgage loan scheme

Herschell Harvell Jr., 53, of Conyers, a special agent of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S.Department of Housing and Urban Development, was indicted on charges that he made false statements to a bank to obtain a mortgage loan. It was also alleged that he  conspired to obstruct an investigation of his real estate transactions, said U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Harvell was indicted along with his nephew, Tavus A. Wright, 32, of Milledgeville, who was charged with conspiracy, obstruction of justice and perjury, Yates said.

The Inspector General’s office is tasked with detecting fraud and abuse in HUD programs.Prosecutors said that between 2007 and 2012, Harvell served as a supervisory special agent in several of HUD’s regional inspector general officers, including stints as Special Agent in Charge in Atlanta and Fort Worth, Texas.

He also owned residential homes as investment properties in metro Atlanta and in 2008 bought a Precision Tune auto care franchise, they said. The indictment against Harvell focuses on a refinance of one of his rental homes, for which he received more than $23,000 in cash. Harvell’s loan applications stated that he had a $70,000 certificate of deposit and that he received $6,180 in monthly rental income from six residential homes, prosecutors said. The indictment said that those statements on the loan application were false and that Harvell had already cashed out the CD when he applied for the loan.

Harvell also received far less in monthly rental payments—about $900 a month—than he had indicated on his loan application, prosecutors said. Then indictment also alleges that during the OIG investigation Wright provided false information to agents and perjured himself in front of the grand jury, prosecutors said.