Verdict Reached in Mortgage Fraud Scheme that Targeted Sacramento’s Latino Community
In April, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced that two Sacramento defendants were found guilty of wire fraud that stemmed from a case involving a fraudulent real estate company that targeted members of Sacramento’s Latino community. According to U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott of the Eastern District Court of California, five others indicted on connected charges pleaded guilty. The two defendants that were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud by a federal jury are Jaime Mayorga and Ruben Rodriguez, who were real estate agents and loan officers. All the defendants worked at Delta Homes and Lending, a now defunct Sacramento-based real estate and mortgage lending company. Scott stated the following in a news release,
Mayorga and Rodriguez took advantage of members of the Latino community who hoped to become homeowners and manipulated the real estate process for personal gain. As so often occurs in these cases, the result was losses to the financial institutions and neighborhoods burdened with foreclosed properties. We are grateful for the diligence and professionalism of the FBI in investigating this case.
Apparently, the defendants falsified applications for home loans to obtain mortgages for buyers, but many of them did not and could not qualify for loans without the falsified information on their applications. The defendants falsified income, occupation and personal savings information on loan applications, and targeted Sacramento’s Latino community with Spanish-language advertisements that promoted the company’s ability to get home loans for buyers who otherwise did not qualify. According to the news release, the defendants deposited money into borrowers’ bank accounts to meet the lenders’ requirements that the borrowers have money on hand, and they then took the money back after acquiring verification of the deposited funds required by the lenders. The company had the audacity to run advertisements claiming to be “Hispanics Serving Hispanics” and solicited clients at flea markets and by going door-to-door. One of the defendants, Parada-Renteria, has already been sentenced to one year in prison, Rodriguez and Mayorga are set to be sentenced August 6, but the other four defendants have yet to be sentenced.