Mary L. Francois of St. Martinville was also ordered by Judge Richard Haik to pay an $8,000 fine and serve three years of post-prison probation.
Francois, 50, was convicted of a scam to make money from mortgages for low-income persons. She was paid commissions on loans that she obtained for clients through WMC Mortgage Corp. and Wilmington Finance, Inc.
To get loans for people who would otherwise not be eligible, she submitted false documentation, boost the borrower’s checking account with temporary injections of cash, and falsify purchase agreements to make it look like the borrower was purchasing a residence for an amount greater than the actual purchase price.
Evidence showed that on one occasion, Francois submitted paperwork to a lending institution saying that the purchase price of the home was $115,000, when in fact, the real sale price was $93,000.
The amount of money stolen totaled $2,268,200 of which Francois received approximately $153,600, according to the government.
“This defendant was willing to do anything and say anything for what she thought was easy money,” said U.S. Attorney Stephanie Finley. “This type of fraud is harmful to homeowners, communities and associated businesses.”
A decade ago, Francois was a candidate in the St. Martinville City Council election that led to a fraud conviction for her opponent.
After losing the District 3 seat by 13 votes in the May 2002 runoff, Francois filed suit. Eight people were subsequently convicted of election fraud.