A former pastor of Greater Beulah Baptist Church in Dothan has been charged with conspiracy to defraud a federally insured financial institutions and appears headed to prison. He's accused of either making or transmitting false statements and reports intended to influence a financial institution in connection with the sale of residential properties.
A plea agreement with Rev. Robert Hollman indicates he will repay $393,440 while co-defendant Brad Bozeman of Hoover agrees to make restitution of slightly more than $40,000.
A release from the Department of Justice said the illegal scheme operated as follows:
Hollman bought multiple residential properties in Jefferson and Shelby counties and, beginning about 2007, solicited people to buy the properties from him. He would agree, in advance of closing on the sales, to pay all or a portion of the down payments on the property and, afterward, to pay the monthly mortgage payments until the properties resold. Once Hollman had an agreement with a purchaser, or "borrower," he referred them to Bozeman to arrange a mortgage loan.
Hollman profited from the transactions because his debt on the properties was satisfied at closing and, in most of the transactions, he also received a cash payment from the sales. After a period of time, he would stop providing the borrowers money for the monthly mortgage payments and most of the properties ended up in foreclosure.
Hollman is alleged to have made false statements on mortgage documents by failing to disclose that he, not the borrower, was making the down payment or part of the down payment on the property. Bozeman made false statements on loan applications by including false income or not revealing all debts and liabilities of the purchasers and transmitting that information as true and accurate.
Investigators say the scheme was discovered during a probe of the Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity. Its director and director's daughter have been charged with stealing almost a half million dollars from the non-profit organization.
Holman served as pastor of Greater Beulah for several years before leaving in 2012 to take a pastoral position at an Atlanta church. A lawsuit was filed in 2006 by two members of Greater Beulah who claimed Hollman wrongly controlled church funds. The court ruled in Hollman's favor. A subsequent appeal was later dropped.
U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance White said there is a binding agreement with Hollman for him to serve 25 months in prison. He will be sentenced at a later date.