FRESNO, Calif. — Raymond Cawthorne, 57, of Valley Springs, pleaded guilty today to embezzlement of public funds, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.
According to court documents, between May 2015 and Oct. 2016, Cawthorne embezzled over $14,000 belonging to the Keep Your Home California (KYHC) Program. KYHC was a federally funded program launched in response to the 2008 financial crisis that provided eligible homeowners with temporary mortgage assistance so that they could avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes. The KYHC program was part of a broader effort by the federal government to stabilize the nation’s housing market where states with the most distressed markets received federal monies to develop locally tailored foreclosure prevention solutions.
Cawthorne is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Dale A. Drozd on Feb. 24, 2020. Cawthorne faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The case is the product of an investigation by the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), a federal law enforcement agency that targets crime at financial institutions and federally funded housing programs. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph Barton is prosecuting the case.
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