Monday, October 2, 2023

Virginia Beach attorney pleads guilty to illegal real estate deals

VIRGINIA BEACH — A local attorney’s license to practice law in Virginia was suspended by the Virginia State Bar on Jan. 4, following his guilty plea in October to lying to federal agents after facilitating an illegal real estate transaction for a colleague, according to federal court documents.

Jerry Mack Douglas, Jr. admitted to assisting with a series of prohibited real estate transactions and then lying to federal authorities about it. The colleague involved is listed only as “Listing Broker #1” in Douglas’s plea deal, and is not identified elsewhere in court documents.

The broker listed properties for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a HUD listing agent, Douglas was aware that he and the broker he assisted were barred from buying HUD properties.

According to the plea deal, Douglas, who specialized in real estate and business law, assisted the unnamed listing broker in resolving a dispute with a HUD contractor.

The contractor discovered the listing broker had purchased a HUD property in violation of the listing agreement. At that time, Douglas told the broker via email that “I do not suggest that you purchase HUD property,” according to the plea agreement.

Related story: First adult drug court in Virginia Beach to open next year

However, Douglas continued to assist the listing broker buy HUD properties, knowing that those transactions were not permitted, court papers indicated.

According to court documents, Douglas participated in a transaction of a HUD property on Chantilly Court in Virginia Beach, among other properties.

Douglas served as the settlement agent on a deal, which included a forged signature of a shell partnership created to conceal the listing broker’s identity, according to court documents. Douglas was unaware of the forged signature, according to the plea agreement.

His license to practice law in Virginia was suspended by the Virginia State Bar on Jan. 4, and he is likely to lose his law license for committing the felony.

Douglas will appear before the board on Jan. 25 to show cause why his license should not be revoked.

His sentencing in the federal case is scheduled for April 8 at 11:30 a.m. He is facing up to five years in prison.

Related Articles