Two local men get prison over $10M mortgage fraud

HOUSTON A federal judge in Houston has sentenced 40-year-old Adrian Levale Cole to nine years and 47-year-old Albert Terrance Watkins to more than 12 years behind bars. Both also must pay restitution, with the amounts to be determined later this year.

Cole pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud and false representation of Social Security numbers. Investigators say Watkins acted as a recruiter with Cole to buy residential properties through fraudulent mortgage loans. Watkins a year ago pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors say the scam, going back to 2005, involved inflated property values, bogus Social Security numbers and improper lines of credit.

Cole and Watkins were sentenced Wednesday.

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