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OKC homebuilder sentenced to 2 years for wire fraud

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An Oklahoma City homebuilder was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION IMAGE]
An Oklahoma City homebuilder was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison. [METRO CREATIVE CONNECTION IMAGE]

An Oklahoma City custom homebuilder was sentenced Monday to two years in federal prison for defrauding clients in a $200,000 construction project.

Gregory L. Cobbs, 60, also was ordered to pay more than $941,000 in restitution to be split among 10 victims. He pleaded guilty Aug. 20 to wire fraud in Oklahoma City federal court.

A group of victims attended Cobbs’ sentencing hearing Monday morning. In victim impact statements, Kerwin and Pat Christ told U.S. District Judge David Russell that Cobbs stole tens of thousands from them while promising to help them purchase a residential lot.

“He showed no conscience to our future lives,” Kerwin Christ said in court. “He lied like nobody’s business.”

Cobbs was charged in August 2018 after misappropriating funds from a couple living in the Netherlands who planned to permanently return to Oklahoma. He offered to help the couple buy a lot and build a custom home, according to federal court documents.

He used $95,000 from an initial $100,000 wire transfer for purposes other than purchasing the lot and constructing the home, prosecutors said.

Cobbs had the couple wire him an additional $100,000 but spent only $15,000 on the construction project, according to a court affidavit.

The judge considered statements from other victims who claimed Cobbs defrauded them. The court found Cobbs’ “fraudulent scheme” caused losses of more than $940,000 to the victims in total, prosecutors said in a news release.

“I know if that were me and it were my life savings that were lost and you had lied … I would want the book thrown at you,” the judge said to Cobbs during the hearing.

Nuria Martinez-Keel

Nuria Martinez-Keel joined The Oklahoman as a court reporter in 2019. She found a home at the newspaper while interning in summer 2016 and 2017. Nuria returned to The Oklahoman for a third time after working a year and a half at the Sedalia... Read more ›

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