Jury Returns Verdicts Against Purported Texas ‘Sovereign Citizen’ In Less Than 3 Hours; Patrick Cody Morgan Potentially Faces Decades In Jail After Conspiracy And Bank-Fraud Convictions In Condo Swindle

Purported “sovereign citizen” Patrick Cody Morgan has been convicted of conspiracy and nine counts of bank fraud, prosecutors in the Southern District of Texas said.

Morgan, 45, resides in Alvin. His trial lasted two days, and a jury returned the verdicts after deliberating for less than three hours, prosecutors said.

The Morgan scam involved repeated bids to scam residential mortgage lenders and FDIC-insured banks between 2004 and 2007, prosecutors said.

As part of a real-estate loans scam, “Morgan would locate condominium units in the Houston area from a builder or developer,” prosecutors said.

After that, he “set up trust accounts with names similar to the condominiums” and coconspirators recruited straw buyers to get bank loans, prosecutors said.

The properties then ended up in foreclosure, causing losses of more than $20 million, prosecutors said.

From a statement by the office of U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson (italics added):

Morgan chose to represent himself at trial, but the court appointed counsel to be available if Morgan had questions or needed assistance. Morgan responded to inquiries by the judge, throughout various hearings, with arguments that he was not subject to the jurisdiction or laws of the United States. Testimony in trial revealed these actions are part of the sovereign citizen movement.?

Five Houston residents previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy in the scheme: John Elias, 44; Reginald Anderson, 41; Viktor Ly, 43; Minh Vu, 41; and Christopher Pearson, 34. They are scheduled to be sentenced in January.

Morgan’s sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 4, with U.S. District Judge Lynn N. Hughes presiding. Morgan potentially faces decades in prison.

Though initially freed on bond after he was charged, Morgan’s pretrial release was revoked “after the court found he had violated a condition of his release by failing to appear for his court setting,” prosecutors said.

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