A Kansas federal judge has revoked the probation of a former Kansas City builder who operated a fraudulent real estate business after serving a prison term for mortgage fraud.
After leaving prison in January 2014, F. Jeffrey Miller violated four terms of his probation, which is called “supervised release” in the federal justice system, wrote U.S. District Judge Julie A. Robinson.
Miller used his son’s college fund to set up a company that purchased homes at Jackson County tax sales and sold them to poor buyers without making the repairs he promised, according to Robinson’s 16-page order.
Miller told his probation officer that he worked for the company only as a laborer, even though he controlled its finances and operations, in violation of his probation conditions.
Miller submitted false monthly reports to his probation officer attesting that he was committing no crimes, Robinson found.
The judge also determined that Miller broke the law by threatening a home buyer who had refused to move in or to pay Miller for the house until his company made the promised repairs. She later sought a restraining order against Miller, court records said.
Federal prison authorities grew alarmed about Miller’s post-release plans when they monitored his phone calls while he still was incarcerated, court records said.
In those calls, they heard Miller promise his son a car if he would invest his college fund in the new real estate venture.
Concerned that he might be planning another fraud scheme, prison officials notified the probation officer who would be assigned to Miller after his release and contacted an IRS agent who already had investigated him.
The business also caught the attention of Legal Aid of Western Missouri, which monitors the inner-city housing market for real estate scams. According to the order, Legal Aid now represents 18 victims of Miller’s company in consumer complaints with the Missouri attorney general.