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Deputies, marshals arrest couple
Victor Munn - photo by Photo provided

A woman taken into federal custody from an Effingham County residence Tuesday faces charges of fraud, and investigators are combing through more evidence discovered Wednesday.

Effingham deputies, along with U.S Marshals, took Catherine Hickling and Victor Munn, 46, into custody at a Cubbedge Drive residence Tuesday morning.

Hickling was wanted by the U.S Marshals Service. She has been indicted with counts of wire fraud stemming from a joint federal and state investigation into a mortgage fraud scheme.

Federal prosecutors allege that Hickling defrauded several mortgage companies from October 2004-May 2008 by submitting false loan applications and fabricated bank statements, among other documents. According to the indictment, Hickling obtained more than $1 million in mortgage loans and loan approvals.

“The United States Attorney’s Office, together with federal and state investigative agencies, will vigorously investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud in our area,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia Edmund Booth said.

Munn, a former Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department officer from Pooler, has been charged with hindering the apprehension of a criminal.

Munn provided Effingham County deputies with false information on Hickling’s whereabouts.

Investigators eventually found her wrapped in insulation in the home’s attic.

Munn and Hickling were living in the house, but investigators are trying to determine who actually owned the home, which was once listed for $680,000.

A search warrant carried out Wednesday at the house with Effingham deputies, U.S. Secret Service agents and officers from the SCMPD collecting more evidence.

“We’re looking at additional charges against Munn and Hickling,” Effingham Detective David Ehsanipoor said.

Munn was taken to the Effingham County Jail and was released on a $2,000 bond, though additional charges are pending.

Hickling is in the Chatham County Jail on state and federal charges.

Booth praised the work on the case by the SCMPD and the Secret Service.

If Hickling is convicted, she faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, $250,000 in fines and three years of supervised release for each count.