- Associated Press - Friday, December 11, 2015

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) - A mortgage company owner has been sentenced to nearly five years in prison for bankruptcy fraud, which authorities say included illegally wiring $9.1 million from company accounts to a bank in Panama.

William “Butch” Dickson was sentenced to 57 months on Thursday in U.S. District court, according to court records. He also faces three years of supervised release once he gets out of prison.

Dickson ran Community Home Financial Services, a Jackson-based mortgage company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2012. After his company sought protection from creditors, prosecutors said Dickson illegally wired the money to Panama. They said he also sent mortgage checks the company had collected to Panama and Costa Rica.

Dickson pleaded guilty in September to one count of concealing assets after a bankruptcy filing, and one count of fraudulently removing such assets. He has agreed to forfeit the $9 million, allowing the government to have proceeds from the sale of a condominium in Costa Rica and loans Dickson purchased in Costa Rica and Panama.

William Dickson was expelled from Panama in March 2014, arrested on his return to the United States, and ordered held without bond by a U.S. magistrate judge in Miami. He had been charged with 25 felony counts.

Prosecutors claimed his son, Colby Dickson, helped direct mortgage payments to Florida and Nevada mailing addresses and to bank accounts beyond the reach of the bankruptcy court. But on Thursday, prosecutors dismissed a 13-count indictment against Colby Dickson.

The company, which had a downtown Jackson office, was in the business of collecting mortgage payments for debts it and others owned. It was servicing several thousand accounts, according to court papers. Community Home said its revenue was about $5 million a year in 2010 and 2011.

Community Home filed for Chapter 11 in 2012, claiming nearly $45 million in assets and $30 million in liabilities. Two creditors who funded the company’s mortgage operations say they are owed more than $25 million and want a bankruptcy judge to liquidate the company. They have become locked in a dispute with the trustee appointed to run the company, who says the creditors improperly went behind her back to try to recover money. She has sued the creditors in federal district court, accusing them of civil racketeering.


Follow Jeff Amy at: https://twitter.com/jeffamy. Read his work at https://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-amy

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