Five defendants have been sentenced in connection with a mortgage fraud scam involving ten conspirators.
The following defendants have been sentenced to date:
Derek Edward Sawyer was sentenced to 18 months in prison on April 26, 2011. Rigoberto Monroy-Parra was sentenced to 18 months prison on September 21, 2011. Jaco Huguet was sentenced to 24 months in prison on October 11, 2011. Armando Horacio Salazar was sentenced to time served on November 8, 2011. Jose Luis Bernardi was sentenced to time served on February 23, 2012.
On June 16, 2010, ten defendants were indicted in connection with a mortgage fraud conspiracy in the metropolitan-Phoenix, Arizona area. The conspiracy involved the submission of mortgage loan applications on behalf of straw buyers that contained at least one or more of the following material false statements: false statements concerning the intent of the loan applicant to occupy the property as a primary residence; inflated income; false representations concerning employment; or failed to disclose that the loan applicant had recently purchased another property that contained a major liability, a mortgage.
A total of thirteen real estate transactions were involved in this “cash back” scheme. The estimated losses to the various financial institutions and/or the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) relating to these transactions exceeded $1,000,000.
The investigation was conducted by special agents of the Criminal Investigation Division of Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution is being handled by Jonathan Granoff from the U.S. Attonrey’s Office, District of Arizona.
“Mortgage fraud has contributed to the collapse of our real estate market in Arizona,” said Dawn Mertz, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. “IRS CI will continue to aggressively pursue those individuals who commit these types of crimes.”