Thomas F. Gentile, 56, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Justin Sabo, 30, Huntington Beach, California, have both pled guilty to one (1) count each of Theft in an Amount in Excess of $2500, Category B felonies in connection with their involvement in a scheme to fraudulently obtain a mortgage loan against a property owned by Gentile‘s former employer without the knowledge or consent of the former employer.
The felonies carry a potential prison sentence of one (1) to twenty (20) years in prison. A third Defendant Julio C. Martinez, 61, Las Vegas, Nevada, has pled guilty to a gross misdemeanor in connection with fraudulently notarizing documents that allowed Gentile and Sabo to complete the fraudulent transaction. In addition, Defendants Sabo and Gentile are required to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $65,000.
Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced the guilty pleas. “Victimizing seniors is especially egregious,” said Attorney General Masto. “We must put a stop to the continual targeting of the most vulnerable groups by these scammers.”
The case resulted from an investigation by the Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which uncovered that between January 2009 and March of 2009, Sabo and Gentile fraudulently obtained and used the identifying personal information of Gentile‘s former employer, to obtain a $65,000 mortgage loan against the property owned by the victim. The victim and his wife are senior citizens, who had paid cash for their home and did not hold a mortgage on the property.
The loan was obtained from a group of hard money lenders who were also victimized when they approved the loan without knowledge that the loan application was fraudulent. The victim homeowner and his wife were not aware that the suspects had fraudulently obtained a loan against their home until they received a notice of foreclosure for non payment, at which time they reported it to the Attorney General’s office.
A sentencing date has been scheduled for July 23, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada, District Court, Department 7.
Anyone who has information regarding mortgage loan modification or mortgage fraud scams should contact the Attorney General’s Office at 486-3221 in Las Vegas or 684-1180 in Carson City, Nevada.