Two indictments of 13 Oahu residents and one from the state of Washington on mortgage fraud related charges were unsealed with the arrests of 10 of the 14 defendants. A federal grand jury had returned the indictments on August 11, 2010, but they had remained sealed. One indictment charged 10 defendants in 56 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, and false statements on loan applications, while the other named four defendants in 33 counts of the same nature. The 14 named defendants are:
Estrelita “Esther” Garo Miguel, 58, Oahu;
Jennifer Garin Miguel, 29, Oahu;
Yolie Castillo Tiburcio, 36, Oahu;
Vinah Ceriales Morales, 45, Oahu;
Geraldine Garin Miguel Lukela, 33, Oahu;
Teresita “Tessie” Faeldonea Sorino, 33, Oahu;
Mary Ann Lapenia, 57, Oahu;
Stephen Elmer Callo, 59, Oahu;
Felicidad “Felicia” Tabalbag Corpuz, 60, Washington;
Albert Lonoikauakini Joy, 45, Oahu;
Atlantica Kahaunani “Nani” Tanuvasa, 37, Oahu;
Lene Tanuvasa, Jr., 40, Oahu;
Samantha Michel, 37, Oahu;
Michelle Lee Malulani Kama, 39, Oahu;
According to the indictments, the purposes of the conspiracies and fraud schemes were to defraud lending institutions and others by submitting loan documents containing false information. The two indictments allege that certain defendants recruited individuals to apply for mortgage loans and to sign loan documents containing false representations, and that some defendants were loan officers who submitted fraudulent loan applications. In reliance on the false statements, the lending institutions funded the loans, and some of the defendants then distributed the loan proceeds, as well as collected their standard fees and commissions.
For the conspiracy count, the defendants face a maximum period of imprisonment of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000. For the wire fraud counts, the defendants face a maximum period of imprisonment of 20 years and a maximum fine of $250,000. For the false statement on loan application charges, the defendants face a maximum period of imprisonment of 30 years and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. Charges in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
At the arraignments, trial dates were set for October 13, 2010, for the 10 and four defendant cases before Chief United States District Judge Susan Oki Mollway and United States District Judge J. Michael Seabright, respectively.
Florence T. Nakakuni, United States Attorney for the District of Hawaii, announced the indictments.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Clare Connors.