Yanay Aguirre, 24, Las Vegas, Nevada, Maria Lorena Anzu, 39, in custody in the Clark County Detention Center, Jose Benjamin Rodriguez, 39, (whereabouts unknown), Rodolfo Cruz, 75, Las Vegas, Silvia Patricia De La Cruz, 34, Franklin David Marquez, 49, in custody in Los Angeles County Jail, Jose Gilberto Navidad, 54, in custody in the Clark County Detention Center, and Roberto Vargas, 51, Hesperia, California, have each been charged with multiple counts of mortgage lending fraud and theft.
In addition defendants Rodriguez and Anzu have been charged with bribing or intimidating a witness to influence testimony. Defendant Rodolfo Cruz has already entered a plea to a reduced charge and is cooperating with the investigation. Aguirre and Navidad made their initial appearances in court, along with Anzu who was re-arraigned on a new indictment. The superseding Indictment was filed on May 15, 2013.
The group, operated under the business names Majestic Group, LLC, and Nevada Sky Premier, LLC. They falsely promised to eliminate mortgage debts for approximately 96 distressed homeowners who in total as a group paid nearly $1.5 million dollars for help that they never received. Instead of legitimately working on behalf of the homeowners, worthless sovereignty paperwork was sent to lenders—paperwork that did nothing to affect the mortgage of a single homeowner.
Distressed homeowners were recruited from seminars to participate in the company’s new start, principle reduction, or foreclosure back programs that promised, in exchange for fees, that Majestic Group or its later named counterpart Nevada Sky, would eliminate the homeowners’ mortgage woes within six to nine months through a process that a involved quit-claiming their property over to a trust. Victims were told that a secret group of investors would purchase all of the homes owned by the trust at a substantially reduced cost and then restore the victims to ownership in their respective homes.
The company failed to tell distressed homeowners that their scheme did not work. Many of the company’s clients lost their houses to foreclosure and were evicted from their houses as a result of the scheme. The company even went to far as to file inappropriate bankruptcy documents in the names of some Majestic Group clients to delay foreclosure and eviction, in many cases without the knowledge or consent of the client.
The AG’s office is seeking the public’s help to locate Jose Benjamin Rodriguez (also known as Ben Rodriguez). Investigators describe the suspect as a 39 year old Hispanic male, 5’6 tall, weighing between 165 pounds with brown hair and hazel eyes.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced the arraignments.
Victims in Nevada with information regarding Majestic Group, LLC, Nevada Sky Premier, LLC, De La Cruz, Marquez, Navidad, Rodriguez, or Vargas are urged to contact the Nevada Attorney General’s Office Mortgage Fraud Unit at 702-486-3420 and submit a written complaint. The Mortgage Fraud Complaint Form can be found on the AG’s website.
This case is prosecuted by the Nevada Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Unit, who wishes to thank the Los Angeles Police Department, and the San Diego District Attorney’s Office for their assistance with the investigation.
“These charges demonstrate what can be achieved by collaborative response from law enforcement partners and the general public,” said Masto. “We are grateful to those victims who have come forward with their assistance. We will continue to do all that we can to protect Nevadans. I urge anyone who has any information on this case or any mortgage fraud case to call our office.”