White-Collar Crime

Wife breaks down in court as lawyer gets over 7 years in $30M mortgage fraud case

A Las Vegas lawyer was sentenced to 87 months in federal prison Thursday in a courtroom filled with his supporters as a judge gave him the time recommended by the prosecution.

Gerry Zobrist, 43, pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, concerning what authorities describe as a mortgage-fraud scheme that cost lenders $30 million, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports. His sentence reflects his cooperation with the government, and he will not be required to surrender to begin serving his prison term until early December.

Paramedics were called to attend to his wife, who began sobbing, shaking and gasping for breath after the sentence was announced.

“I don’t know how to exist without him as a parent,” Sheri Zobrist, married to the defendant for more than 20 years, tearfully told U.S. District Judge James Mahan earlier in the hearing. “I don’t know how my kids can exist without him in their life.”

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office provides further details and says Zobrist was ordered to pay some $31 million in restitution.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Lawyer takes plea in $30M federal mortgage fraud case”

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