Jose Ricardo Ramirez, 44, Adelphi, Maryland, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte to 18 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Judge Messitte also filed an initial order for Ramirez to pay restitution of $105,000, with an additional amount to be determined after further review of the loss to the mortgage companies.
According to his plea, from August through December 2006, Ramirezpurchased properties in Silver Spring and Germantown, Maryland, using the name of another person, without that person’s knowledge or permission. Ramirez conducted these purchases through a co-conspirator, Kenneth Carl Sanchez, 31, Gaithersburg, Maryland. To secure financing for the purchases Ramirezcaused false applications for loans to be prepared for mortgage lenders in the name of the other person, which contained false information as to that person’s income. Specifically, the loan application for the Silver Spring property listed the income as $17,800 per month, and the loan application for the Germantown property listed the income as $9,500 per month. The lenders loaned $897,500 for the purchase of the Silver Spring property and $440,000 for the Germantown property. Neither lender received payments on their loans.
In return for the fraudulent purchase and financing of the Silver Spring property Ramirez received half of the commission on the sale, $11,218.75, and was able to live in that residence for a brief period of time. Ramirezalso received $40,000 from the sale of the Germantown property.
Both properties went into foreclosure, although the Germantown property was subsequently sold for $323,000. The loss caused by Ramirez was between $120,000 and $200,000.
Co-conspirator Kenneth Carl Sanchez pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme and was sentenced to 3 years probation.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service for its work in this investigation and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Su, who prosecuted the case.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel S. Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division.
“The sentence in this case should show those individuals engaged in similar activity that the US Postal Inspection Service will not rest until they are brought to justice for their criminal acts,”said Postal Inspector in Charge Daniel Cortez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – Washington Division.
The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established to unify the agencies that regulate and investigate mortgage fraud and promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect consumers from fraud and promote the integrity of the credit markets. Information about mortgage fraud prosecutions is available www.justice.gov/usao/md/Mortgage-Fraud/index.html.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.