Cordell pleads guilty to fraud
by Jessica Loeding
Dec 06, 2011 | 3150 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Former Cartersville mayoral candidate Howard Gregory Cordell last week pleaded guilty to bank fraud ahead of his scheduled trial in Atlanta.

Cordell's case was to begin Monday in Judge Charles Pannell Jr.'s courtroom after he was found competent to stand trial in May. The case originated in U.S. District Court in Rome but was moved to Atlanta after Cordell allegedly threatened a judge.

According to published reports, Cordell will be sentenced in February and faces 27 months in prison. Marti Minor with Pannell's office could not confirm a sentence or sentencing date, saying paperwork had not yet been filed.

According to the indictment filed in February 2009, a grand jury returned charges on six counts in connection with a mortgage obtained through Washington Mutual Bank and a loan taken out with United Community Bank in Adairsville.

"... Defendant obtained a mortgage from Washington Mutual Bank in the amount of approximately $937,000 to purchase a house and property in Cartersville, Georgia, and defendant obtained that mortgage through an application and related financial disclosure forms in which he (1) falsely inflated his annual income, (2) misrepresented that he owned assets that he did not own, (3) concealed financial liabilities, and (4) concealed that he had induced and persuaded the seller of the property to inflate the sales price and pay him $307,000 after the sale purportedly closed...," according to count one of the indictment.

The indictment also alleged Cordell obtained loans from United Community Bank to purchase vehicles and an airplane by falsifying income information and concealing financial liabilities.

In July, an attorney for Cordell was granted a motion to withdraw, with Pannell appointing a new lead counsel. According to court documents, Cordell had filed a motion to dismiss all counts of the indictment eight days before pleading guilty.

Calls and emails to Cordell's attorneys seeking comment were not returned at press time.