Loan Officer Admits Recruiting Straw Borrowers

Allison Tussey —  January 10, 2014 — Leave a comment

Alexander A. Romaniolis, 48, Irvine, California, pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud. A federal grand jury returned the three-count indictment on March 21, 2013, charging Romaniolis with mail fraud.

According to court documents, Romaniolis recruited five straw buyers to purchase eight California residential properties in Rocklin, Roseville and San Clemente. Romaniolis assisted the straw buyers in providing false information to lenders about their employment, income, assets, and intent to occupy properties as primary residences. In most cases, the straw buyers claimed to be executives of companies created and controlled by Romaniolis. He was responsible for the origination of more than $5 million in residential mortgage loans in the scheme. All of the properties were foreclosed on, resulting in a total loss of more than $2 million.

Romaniolis is scheduled to be sentenced on March 27, 2014. He faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced the guilty plea.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the California Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The Huntington Beach Police Department assisted in the arrest. Assistant United States Attorney Jean M. Hobler is prosecuting the case.

 

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