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Government Moves to Acquire Forfeiture of Warr Assets
Indictment Opens Door Over Questions Regarding Land Purchase

by Keith Burton    8/5/09  GCN

Government prosecutors sharply increased the pressure on former Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and his wife Laura in their latest indictment against the well-known couple.

The new indictment is a re-issuance of the original indictment with four additional counts, making the total of 20 counts that the Warr's have to defend. The new counts involve actions by the Warrs in acquiring the money to obtain the property that was formerly owned by the federal government at the Armed Forces Retirement Home.

The indictment also includes a notice of forfeiture where the government seeks to recover $697,498.10,
"representing the amount of proceeds obtained as a result of said offenses," reads the indictment.

With the newest additions, the Warr's face:

  • Conspiracy - Count 1
  • False or Fraudulent Claims - Count 2
  • Theft of Public Money, Property or Records - Counts 7 & 8
  • False Statements - Counts 3-6
  • Wire Fraud - Counts  - 9 through 11
  • Mail Fraud - Counts 12 through 16
  • False Statement in Loan Application - Counts 17 - 19
  • Bank Fraud - Counts 18 - 20

The Warr's were notified in the initial indictment issued in January that the case primarily revolved around their receipt of a Mississippi Homeowner Grant by the Mississippi Development Authority following hurricane Katrina. The latest version of the indictment moves the case back to 2003 during the time the Warr's purchased property from the Gulfport Armed Forces Retirement Home complex.

The alleged activities by the Warrs in obtaining loans for the property include actions taken at Coast Community Bank where Warr had served at one time as a member of the bank's board of directors.

The new indictment outlines loans the Warrs received, one totaling $141,000 in October 2003 and one for $333,700 in January 2004, when they were acquiring their beachfront property.

The government appears to building a case that represents a continuous pattern of deception and self-enrichment going back several  years. The Warrs have previously denied the allegations.

The Armed Forces Retirement Home initially acquired land in 2001 just east of the main AFRH property for a possible expansion. A portion of the property was sold to Brent Warr, according to records in 2003. The property the Warrs purchased included two homes, one of which has been the focus of the government's actions, and was remodeled after Katrina to its current condition by Warr.


More Information:

Latest Warr Indictment - GCN .pdf file  (Ed: The newest counts are toward the bottom of the document.)

Gulfport Mayor Brent Warr and Wife Laura Face Additional Indictments - GCN

GCN Warr Archive
 

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