Vijay K. Taneja, 48, Fairfax, Virginia, has been sentenced to 84 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $33 million in restitution to four financial institutions: Franklin Bank, First Tennessee Bank, Wells Fargo Bank, and EMC Mortgage Co., a wholly owned subsidiary of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Franklin Bank is currently under FDIC receivership.
As previously reported in November 2008, Taneja pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving his company, Financial Mortgage, Inc., (FMI), which originated and sold mortgages on residential properties in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.
According to court documents, FMI initially utilized a group of financial institutions (referred to as warehouse lenders) to temporarily fund the mortgages and then sold the mortgages to another group of financial institutions as long-term investments. Beginning in 2001, FMI began defrauding these financial institutions, causing an accumulated loss of at least $33 million to four financial institutions by the time FMI filed for bankruptcy in June 2008. Taneja accomplished the scheme mainly by creating fictitious loans with bogus loan closings, selling the same legitimate loan to multiple investors and pocketing the proceeds generated from refinancing loans, when the bulk of those proceeds were intended to payoff prior mortgages on the same properties. Court documents state that for at least part of the scheme, Taneja conspired with the owner of TitlePro, a Fairfax title company, currently defunct.
The investigation involving FMI was conducted by Special Agents of the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service. The prosecution of the case is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Stephen Learned.