Warrs now face pre-Katrina fraud charges

By WLOX Staff

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Former Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his wife, Laura, face new federal fraud charges.

The new charges date back before Hurricane Katrina. The government alleges the couple schemed to defraud Countrywide Home Loans by providing false information in order to obtain a mortgage.

Count 17 of the indictment says in October 2003, the Warrs "made false statements to Countrywide Home Loans" to obtain a loan in the amount of $141,000.

Count 18 charges the Warrs with providing "fraudulent information regarding the status of property located at 11142 Coleman Road in Gulfport, Mississippi, purporting to be their primary residence, at a time when defendants had a commercial lease on said property to others utilizing the property as a personal care home."

The government also alleges the couple signed a Deed of Trust on the Coleman Road property, which they knew to be false.

Counts 19 and 20 center on a $333,700 loan from the Warrs received from Coast Community Bank in 2004. Again the government alleges the Warrs made false statements in order to get loan and "concealed and misrepresented the true debts owed... and misrepresented income in relation to those debts."

Count 20 details the alleged misrepresentation as being centered on a claim that the Warrs were renting their primary residence on Evergreen Lane in Biloxi. The indictment says the Warrs sent "a false and fraudulent lease agreement" to Coast Community Bank. The government alleges that was an effort to obtain the $333,700 loan by claming false income.

The Warrs already face 16 counts of Katrina-related fraud. The couple will appear before federal Magistrate Robert H. Walker on August 12th to answer the new charges against them.

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