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Former Putnam appraiser gets one year for Stonegate scheme

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A former Putnam County real-estate appraiser will spend more than a year in federal prison for his part in a "flipping" scheme involving homes in the Stonegate subdivision in Hurricane.

U.S. District Judge Thomas E. Johnston sentenced Mark E. Greenlee Tuesday to 18 months in prison on charges of aiding and abetting wire fraud.

Greenlee, 50, admitted last year that he prepared fraudulently inflated property appraisals for Putnam County real-estate brokers Todd and Deborah Joyce, who had been working with Utah natives Michael Hurd and Raymond Morris in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme centered on Stonegate.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Ryan said during Greenlee's sentencing Tuesday that although Greenlee gained only a small amount of money in the scheme, prosecutors did not ask the judge to impose a lighter sentence because he did not immediately cooperate with the criminal probe when he was identified as a suspect. Another appraiser, James Thornton, received federal probation because he substantially helped agents investigating the case, Ryan said.

Hurd, 37, of Salt Lake City, was sentenced earlier this month to two years and three months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Todd and Deborah Joyce received a year and six months and three years and 10 months in prison respectively.

Raymond Morris, the alleged leader of the scheme, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine when he is sentenced Oct. 29.

Reach Zac Taylor at Zachary.Taylor@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.


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