14 Charged in $9M Mortgage-Fraud Scheme

Allison Tussey —  September 28, 2009 — 3 Comments

A federal grand jury has indicted 14 individuals on mortgage-fraud charges involving approximately 35 homes in Fairfax County, Virginia, and causing more than $9 million in losses:

Ruben Rojas, 30, Vienna, Va., a real estate agent.
Lourdes Rojas Almanza, 28, Falls Church, Va., a loan officer, the agent for Almanza Corporation, and sister to Ruben Rojas.
Litcia Linares, 32, Falls Church, Va., a real estate agent and sister-in-law to Ruben Rojas.
Jaime Nino Rojas, 38, Falls Church, Va., the brother of Ruben Rojas.
Juan de la Cruz Aguayo, 49, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of more than $1.6 million.
Yesenia Banegas, 36, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of more than $2.3 million.
Oscar Barahona, 32, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least four properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of more than $3 million.
Fidelino Ferrufino, 49, Miami, Fl., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $2.3 million.
Santos Euceda Manzanares, 29, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least five properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $2.5 million.
Delmy Mendieta, 36, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $1.7 million.
Wilmer Mendieta, 32, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $1.8 million.
Maria del Carmen Rapalo, 35, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $2.1 million.
Jose A. Rodriguez, 37, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of approximately $1.8 million.
Jose Villatoros, 41, Springfield, Va., who is accused of buying at least three properties, which resulted in mortgage loans of more than $1.9 million.

According to the federal indictment, the 14 individuals are charged in engaging in a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions into making fraudulent mortgage loans and profiting from the fees and proceeds. The conspiracy involved real estate agents, a loan officer, and individuals who fraudulently purchased properties. According to the indictment, the total amount of mortgage loans approved through the alleged conspiracy exceeds $24 million.

 

The indictment alleges that the conspirators would identify straw buyers – individuals with good credit but who had no intent to live in the home – and pay them to use their good credit to purchase homes in Fairfax County. Conspirators would also refer unqualified buyers – individuals who lacked the finances, credit rating or legal status to obtain a certain loan amount – to a loan officer to qualify them for the mortgage. They would help prepare loan applications that contained false information that included the applicant’s employment, income, assets, immigration status and intent to live in the property as a primary residence. The fraudulent mortgage loan applications also failed to list other properties purchased by the straw buyers or unqualified buyers.

According to the indictment, the conspirators would also transfer money into the bank accounts of straw buyers and unqualified buyers to inflate their assets and then transfer the money back out shortly after settlement on the properties. The scheme also involved corroborating false employment and income information included on the loan applications.

The charges in the indictment include conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud. Each of these charges carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

This case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department and FBI’s Washington Field Office. Assistant United States Attorney Charles F. Connolly and Special Assistant United States Attorney Robert E. Friedman are prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

 

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police; and Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, announced both federal and state charges.

The public is reminded that an indictment only contains charges and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
 

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Allison Tussey

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3 responses to 14 Charged in $9M Mortgage-Fraud Scheme

  1. I am interested in knowing what types of mtg fraud are occurring LESS frequently since the subprime crisis. The FBI reports continued increases in fraud cases, but banks are (presumably) subprime fraud is gone and so are liar’s loans due to banking scrutiny. I assume straw buyer schemes using victims w/ good credit are still a big problem along with bank insider frauds. What else is drivingup the overall incidence of mtg fraud?

  2. Is it possible to get a list of the properties that were involved?

  3. It is good to see!

    It is a major crime within the UK that many are able to get away with.

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