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Homebuilder Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison For $1.3M Embezzlement

A homebuilder in Mountain Brook, Alabama has been found guilty sentenced to 41 months in prison for embezzlement of more than $1 million from the clients. A court has now sentenced Jeffery Rusert, 52, to 41 months in prison. The sentence was announced on Oct 29, Tuesday by a District Judge.

Rusert led the Southern Craftsman Custom Homes Inc., a homebuilding company that sold luxury homes. As the owner of the company, Rusert sought funds from more than 16 families. These funds were paid to him in lieu of the construction of the homes. However, Rusert misused the funds to settle his own debts and launch other, unrelated construction projects.

In addition to receiving checks from the clients, Rusert also helped them get loans for their homes. Rusert abused these loans by fraudulently seeking payments for materials and labor. In truth, these payments were used elsewhere. Rusert made use of fake invoices and documents to retrieve these payments from the financial institutions who had issued the loans.

During a two-year period from 2016 to 2018, Rusert embezzled more than $1 million through such fraudulent activities. His case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) together with help from the Alabama Home Builders Licensure Board.

Following the investigations into his case, Rusert agreed to plead guilty to wire fraud. His case was heard by the U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre and prosecuted by the assistant U.S. Attorney Robin Beardsley Mark. In all, Rusert has received a prison sentence of 3 years and 5 months. He also stands to face possible civil litigation against him from the victims of his embezzlement scheme. In addition to his prison sentence, Rusert has also been ordered to remain under supervised release for 3 years following the end of his prison term.

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