VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A Virginia Beach man will spend 11 years in prison after he stole thousands of dollars from elderly Hampton Roads homeowners in a loan fraud scheme, officials say.
Gregory J. Ziglar, 61, was convicted by a federal jury on 16 charges on Jan. 31, including promotional money laundering and making false statements to a bank.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Ziglar ran an extensive home improvement loan fraud scheme in Hampton Roads from 2014 to 2017. Many of his victims were elderly homeowners.
As part of the scheme, Ziglar helped homeowners take out federally-insured loans to do home improvements. The homeowners paid him a service fee for moving their loan application through the bank, but many times little or no work was done on their homes, according to the DOJ.
Ziglar advertised his services as a legitimate business, but used fake names when dealing with clients, banks and contractors. He submitted false estimates and agreements with contractors to justify the home improvements in order to get the loans approved, according to the DOJ.
“Combatting elder abuse and financial fraud targeted at seniors is a key priority of the Department of Justice. Elder abuse is an intentional or negligent act by any person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to an older adult,” the DOJ wrote in a press release. “Together with our federal, state, local and tribal partners, the Department of Justice is steadfastly committed to combating all forms of elder abuse and financial exploitation through enforcement actions, training and resources, research, victim services, and public awareness. This holistic and robust response demonstrates the Department’s unwavering dedication to fighting for justice for older Americans.”