Former St. Albans property developer sentenced to prison for wire fraud


VERMONT – The United States Attorney for the District of Vermont announced that Jeremy Fairbanks, 44, formerly of St. Albans, Vermont, was sentenced on December 18, 2020 upon his guilty plea to two counts of wire fraud: one stemming from his conduct in Vermont, and one relating to a subsequent fraud in Tennessee.  Fairbanks was sentenced to 10 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release, to run concurrently on both counts.  U.S. District Judge Christina Reiss also ordered that Fairbanks pay restitution totaling $155,392.  Fairbanks must surrender to the U.S. Bureau of Prisons to begin his sentence on April 15, 2021.

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According to court records and testimony at his sentencing, Fairbanks devised a scheme through which he defrauded a lender based in northern New York in 2016.  Fairbanks obtained construction financing from that lender of over $210,000 to build and sell a house in Swanton, Vermont.  However, Fairbanks had to show his lender proof of construction progress to receive payments under their loan agreement.  Accordingly, he provided the lender with photographs purporting to show a house and garage on his property.  In fact, the property Fairbanks financed was—and remains—a vacant lot.  Fairbanks’ photographs were later found to depict structures on other properties, which Fairbanks did not own.  In one instance, Fairbanks altered a photograph to make it appear that a house and garage, which were in fact on two different lots, were next to each other on the property Fairbanks had financed.

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In the spring of 2019, Fairbanks obtained a mortgage to purchase a home in Gray, Tennessee.  In his application for that mortgage, Fairbanks misrepresented his financial condition by, among other things, concealing the $200,000 debt he still owed on his construction loan.  Fairbanks agreed to sell his home in Tennessee and to forfeit the proceeds of the sale in connection with his guilty pleas and sentences in these cases.

U.S. Secret Service agents based in Vermont and Tennessee investigated the frauds.  The United States Attorney also gratefully acknowledges the assistance of Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mac Heavener and Gretchen Mohr, and paralegal Stephanie Morris, of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Tennessee.

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The United States is represented in this matter by Assistant U.S. Attorney Spencer Willig.  The defendant is represented by Timothy C. Doherty, Jr, Esq.

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