Ray Foakes, a member of the Sonoma County charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, was sentenced to 70 months in prison Tuesday for signing a fraudulent mortgage application. Federal prosecutor’s and defense attorney’s commonly call the charge “the head shot.”
It was the charge federal prosecutors used to get former Baltimore Police Commisioner Ed Norris. Norris did six months and went on to play a detective in the HBO series The Wire. The head shot became a plot element in the final season of that series. Many adults in America are guilty or exaggerating their income or making other false statements on mortgage applications.
Foakes could have been sentenced to as much as 30 years in prison.
Foakes pled guilty to the charge last October 25. He was indicted the previous month on charges that he “knowingly and intentionally (participated) in a scheme and artifice to defraud and to obtain money and property from mortgage lenders by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, and promises and omission of material facts and for the purpose of executing such scheme and artifice did knowingly and intentionally cause to be transmitted by means of wire communication in interstate commerce certain writing, signs and signals, specifically wire transfers of fund related to mortgage loans and refinancing….”
The improper mortgages were arranged by a San Francisco mortgage broker named Jacob Moynihan and his son Gerald Moynihan. Foakes’ offense took place in July 2007. Foakes’ fraudulently financed property was on Laguna Avenue in Santa Rosa. Another defendant named Josh Leo Johnson is also a Hells Angel. In all, eight people were indicted for mortgage fraud in the case.
Jacob Moynihan is also charged with possessing more than 100 marijuana plants.
Comparing Mortgage Scheme Punishments
According to the press release, in addition to his prison term, Foakes was “ordered to pay $1,085,000 in restitution for his role in a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme.” U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup also sentenced Foakes “to a three-year period of supervised release during which time he will face an expanded search condition and his ability to associate with other members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club will be limited. The defendant will begin serving the sentence immediately, having been in continuous federal custody since his arrest.”
Foakes was the Hells Angel who struck the first blow in the infamous fight between members of the Hells Angels and Mongols Motorcycle Clubs in Harrah’s Casino in Laughlin, Nevada in April 2002. He did about a year in prison for his part in that fight and he has been on the federal radar ever since.
The most famous villain in the American mortgage meltdown was former Countrywide Mortgage Chief Executive Officer Angelo R. Mozilo. Mozilo is widely reported to have made $470 million from fraudulent mortgages during the real estate boom in the early years of the new millennium. Mozilo personally paid $47.5 million in fines for Countrywide’s alleged crimes. He never did a day in prison.