Brian Andrew La Porte, Daniel John Schuetz, Michael Wayne Wickware, Roxanne Yvette Hempstead, Darryl Anthony Wallace, aka Darryl Anthony White, and Terrence Smith, aka Terry Lee Smith, California residents, have been charged with submitting false and fraudulent mortgage loan applications and related documents to banks and other lending institutions, thereby inducing the institutions to make approximately 36 loans totaling approximately $20,800,000.00.
The indictment alleges that the defendants devised a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders and to obtain money and property by false and fraudulent means and diverted the proceeds for their personal use and benefit.
According to the indictment, from May 2008, the defendants agreed to submit false loan applications to mortgage lenders to obtain financing to purchase residential properties. The defendants recruited “straw buyers” who had sound credit histories but who otherwise would not have qualified to purchase the residential properties selected by the defendants. The indictment further alleges that, as part of the conspiracy, defendants Brian Andrew La Porte and Daniel John Schuetz prepared fraudulent loan applications on behalf of the straw purchasers, falsely stating the employment and monthly salaries of the straw purchasers.
The indictment further alleges that the defendants submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of the straw purchasers to mortgage lenders, including OwnIt Mortgage Solutions, Inc., WMC Mortgage Corp., Argent Mortgage Company, Countrywide Home Loans, First Franklin, and Finance America LLC, and other mortgage lenders. The defendants then caused escrow agents to disburse the funds to the defendants and others so that the defendants could divert to themselves and others the proceeds of the fraud.
The case is the product of an investigation by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted in San Diego federal court by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan I. Shapiro.
An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.