Archives For Straw Buyer

Edward Khalfin, 58, San Mateo, California was found guilty by a federal jury of 12 counts of mail fraud and 11 counts of making false statements on loan applications. Robin Dimiceli, 53, Brentwood, California was found guilty by a federal jury of six counts of mail fraud and six counts of making false statements on loan applications.  The convictions arise out of a builder bailout scheme that provided financial incentives to straw buyers to get them to purchase homes that developers were having difficulty selling

According to court documents, from August 2006 through May 2008, two brothers, Volodymyr Dubinsky, 56, formerly of Folsom, California, and Leonid Doubinski, 50, formerly of Copperopolis, California, built, developed, and sold real estate in Carmichael, California, Sacramento, California, and Copperopolis, California. As the real estate market declined, the brothers recruited family members, employees, and associates with good credit to act as straw buyers for residential properties. The Dubinsky brothers have not been apprehended and are fugitives thought to be residing in Ukraine. Continue Reading…

Michael David Scott, real estate developer, 51, Mansfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 135 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of over $11,374,201and to forfeit $7,413,712.  In June 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to counts of 32 counts of wire fraud, 14 counts of bank fraud, and 22 counts of money laundering. Continue Reading…

Valeri Kalyuzhnyy, 44, Citrus Heights, California, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

On June 25, 2015, Kalyuzhnyy pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a loan application. According to court documents, Kalyuzhnyy, while working as a mortgage broker, bought two homes using the credit information of a straw buyer. The loan applications that were used to secure the properties contained numerous false statements regarding the buyer’s intent to occupy the property, employer, occupation, and monthly income. In order to support the inflated monthly income listed on the loan application, fraudulent tax returns were submitted. On July 17, 2007, Kalyuzhnyy gave the straw buyer a check for $29,000.

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Kalyuzhnyy. The case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan prosecuted the case.

Sean McClendon, 49, Elk Grove, California, was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison.

On October 18, 2012, McClendon pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his involvement in a Sacramento, California area mortgage fraud scheme with Anthony Salcedo and Anthony Williams. According to court documents, McClendon and Williams recruited straw buyers to purchase four properties owned by Salcedo or his associates using kickbacks, false financial information for the buyers, and payments outside of escrow.

All properties involved were foreclosed by the lenders, resulting in losses of over $1 million.

In June 2015, a jury found Salcedo guilty of four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2015. On January 29, 2015, Williams was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced McClendon.  The case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Marilee Miller are prosecuting the case.

Antonio Pimenta, 47, Neshanic Station, New Jersey, admitted his role in a scheme that used straw buyers and phony loan documents to fraudulently obtain a $400,500 loan on a property in Irvington, New Jersey.

According to documents filed and statements made in court: Pimenta owned and managed Kelmar Construction Co. Kelmar built multiple properties in Irvington, New Jersey. These properties were sold to straw buyers utilizing fraudulent mortgage loans brokered by loan officer, Klary Arcentales, 47, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and closed by settlement agent Linda Cohen, 57, Orange, New Jersey, who used fraudulent settlement statements to hide the true sources and destinations of the mortgage funds. The straw buyers had no means of paying the mortgages, and many of the properties entered into foreclosure proceedings. Continue Reading…

Silver Buckman, 37, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, her parents, Vincent Foxworth, 70, Turnersville, New Jersey and Cynthia Foxworth, 64, Turnersville, New Jersey, were convicted by a federal jury for a mortgage fraud scheme that stripped the equity from the homes of desperate homeowners facing foreclosure.  The three were found guilty of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Their scheme caused losses to mortgage lenders of approximately $3.8 million.

The defendants offered to help financially-vulnerable individuals save their homes from foreclosure or obtain money from the equity in their homes but, instead, defrauded the homeowners and mortgage lenders. Buckman owned and operated Fresh Start Financial Services (“FSFS”), in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and was an employee of American Home Lending as well as a mortgage broker for American One Mortgage (“AOM”). Her father is an experienced Realtor.

Between October 2006 and November 2009, Buckman and her co-defendants allegedly targeted financially vulnerable homeowners and represented to them that they could improve their credit, save their homes from foreclosure, or provide them with money through Buckman’s lease buyback program. The homeowners were told that “investors” would be used to temporarily refinance their homes and that they could repurchase the homes in one year, or once they regained their financial footing. The defendants also allegedly induced the homeowners into signing documents related to the sale and lease of their homes by their representations that the homeowners would remain on the title to their homes, that the equity from their homes would be placed into an individual escrow account in their names, and that new mortgages would be paid from the escrow accounts to establish their timely payment histories.

In order to carry out the scheme, Buckman recruited Vincent Foxworth and Cynthia Foxworth and others to be straw borrowers. Buckman submitted false financial and employment information about the straw borrowers to mortgage lenders. Once lenders agreed to fund the mortgage loans, Buckman prevented the homeowners from receiving the settlement proceeds and did not put money into escrow accounts for the homeowners. Instead, the defendants distributed the proceeds amongst themselves. Buckman used only a fraction of the homeowners’ monies toward the payment of the mortgages obtained by the straw borrowers for the homeowners’ homes and thereby caused the loans to go into default.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 29, 2016.The defendants each face a potential advisory sentencing guideline range of approximately 87 to 108 months in prison plus restitution.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.

Anthony Cruz Quitugua, 38, Phoenix, Arizona, was arrested on May 23, 2012, to face charges of mortgage fraud. In May of 2011, a federal grand jury in Phoenix returned a 15-count indictment against Quitugua, which alleges that he defrauded mortgage lenders out of more than $3.5 million dollars.

Continue Reading...

Peter Kuzmenko, 37,  West Sacramento, California, was sentenced to 19 years in prison; Aaron New, 41, Sacramento, California, was sentenced to 11 years and three months in prison; Nadia Kuzmenko, 36, formerly of Loomis, California, was sentenced to eight years in prison; and Edward Shevtsov, 51, North Highlands, California, was sentenced to eight years in prison for their involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme that cost financial institutions approximately $16 million.

On February 13, 2015, after a 21-day trial, a federal jury found the four defendants guilty of multiple counts of mail and wire fraud associated with their involvement in the mortgage fraud scheme. In addition, Peter Kuzmenko, Edward Shevtsov, and Aaron New were found guilty of money laundering associated with the scheme, and Nadia Kuzmenko was found guilty of witness tampering. Continue Reading…

Eliseo Jara Jr., 36, Bakersfield, California, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, and was ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution. Sergio Jara, 34, Bakersfield, California, was sentenced to six and a half years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, and was ordered to pay $3,249,624 in restitution. Melissa Rochelle Jara, 34, Bakersfield, California, was sentenced to time served and five years on supervised release for wire fraud, and was ordered to pay $271,171 in restitution. The Jaras were also ordered to forfeit their interests in six properties in Bakersfield, a 2007 Lexus, and approximately $110,419 seized from a bank account, and to pay personal forfeiture money judgments of $5,664,250 as to Eliseo Jara, $4,743,500 as to Sergio Jara, and $534,750 as to Melissa Jara. Prior to sentencing, Sergio and Melissa Jara also deposited approximately $148,000 with the Court toward their restitution obligations. Continue Reading…

Michael R. Anderson, 46, attorney, Framingham, Massachusetts, was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11,048,212 in restitution and forfeit $7,413,712 in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury, Massachusetts.  In January 2011, Anderson pleaded guilty to sixteen counts of wire fraud, nine counts of bank fraud, and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.   Continue Reading…