ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – A husband and wife real estate team from Wise were sentenced on federal wire fraud charges Thursday.

According to the release from the United States Attorney’s office, Jesse Allen DeLoach, 40, and Natasha Ashley DeLoach both pled guilty in Feb. 2022 to wire fraud and were sentenced on Thursday to 15 months each in federal prison. In addition to the prison sentence, the real estate duo agreed to pay $146,273 in restitution.

The DeLoaches owned a real estate agency called Koltown Properties, Inc. that operated in Southwest Virginia, according to court documents. The defendants are reported to have created nineteen phony residential sales contracts and submitted them to multiple advance commission companies throughout the country from March 2016 to November 2019 to fraudulently obtain money.

An advance commission company provides financial services to real estate agents by assisting them with cash flow. Real estate agents may sell portions of their pending commissions on legitimate residential sales contracts in exchange for access to cash before the closing date.

The DeLoaches created false sales contracts for properties they knew were not under contract or they listed buyers and sellers who didn’t exist, altered valid residential sales to double their claimed sales commissions, and created fake title companies, the release states. The DeLoaches reportedly obtained over $300,000 in advance sales commissions over the span of their schemes.

The FBI and the Virginia State Police investigated the case with assistance from the Wise County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.

United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh and Special Agent in Charge Stanley M. Meador of the FBI made the announcement on Thursday.

Assistant U.S. General Attorney Lena L. Busscher is prosecuting the case.