Credit Repair Specialist Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme

admin —  February 11, 2010 — Leave a comment

Jerry Van Le, 30, Stockton, California, pleaded guilty to false statements in loan and credit applications, mail fraud, and wire fraud.

Per court documents, between 2006 and 2008, Le worked with individuals throughout the Sacramento area to commit multiple acts of fraud in connection with his credit-repair business. Le created fraudulent identities for himself and his customers in order to use these identities to establish fraudulent lines of credit with banks and credit union, credit card companies, and car dealerships. In order to create these identities and their accompanying credit histories, Le used contacts within the finance industry to help in building fraudulent credit histories for the identities he developed. When the defendant or his customers applied for credit using these identities, the credit bureaus would report that the applicant was a good credit risk based upon the bogus histories that had been created by Le. In support of the credit applications submitted to obtain the loans for these items, Le furnished himself or provided for his customers fraudulent paperwork, including bogus pay slips, W-2 forms, letters from nonexistent employers, and fake California driver’s licenses.

Le charged between $3,500 and $6,000 for his credit-repair service. In total, Le established bogus credit histories for approximately 40 clients, some of which were then used to commit additional fraud. Defendants already prosecuted in the Eastern District of California who obtained fraudulent lines of credit through Le:

Chung Jeng Tang (2:09-CR-00159 EJG) pleaded guilty on April 10, 2009, to false statements in a credit application and unlawful use of a social security number. United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia sentenced Tang on January 10, 2010 to 12 months and one day in prison. Losses from Tang’s fraud exceeded $75,000.

Nathan Bitner (2:09-CR-00173 EJG) pleaded guilty on September 11, 2009 to unlawful use of a social security number. United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia sentenced him on January 10, 2010 to six months in prison. Losses from Bitner’s fraud exceeded $66,000.

Keilan Johnson (2:09-CR-00175 EJG) pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia on January 15, 2010, to two counts of false statements in loan and credit applications and unlawful use of a social security number. Sentencing is set for April 2, 2010 before Judge Garcia.

The fraudulent lines of credit obtained by Le and his customers allowed the purchase in 2006 of a $378,000 home in Lincoln, California, as well as multiple high-end luxury cars from Mercedes, BMW, Toyota, and Range Rover. In addition, Le obtained approximately $200,000 from multiple credit cards that he fraudulently acquired in his own or fictitious names. The total loss from the defendant’s own fraudulent activities, and the losses sustained as a result of the fraudulent credit applications submitted by the clients of his credit repair business were between $1.5 million and $2 million.  Bitner and Johnson‘s guilty pleas relate to the purchase of vehicles.

Le is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Garcia on April 23, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. The maximum statutory penalty is 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, and five years of supervised release. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner made the announcement.  This case is the product of an investigation by the United States Secret Service and the Placer County Sheriff’s Department.

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