Mariano Vincente Cano, 39, was arrested in Las Vegas, Nevada, on an indictment that was returned by an Arizona federal grand jury on January 19, 2012. The indictment charges Cano with violations of federal law related to a cash back mortgage fraud scheme.
Specifically, the indictment charges Cano with Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Wire Fraud, and Conspiracy to Commit Transactional Money Laundering. Cano is the eleventh defendant to be indicted in connection with this mortgage fraud scheme. The other ten defendants were previously charged by indictment.
The indictment against Cano alleges that he took part in a conspiracy to submit mortgage loan applications on behalf of straw buyers that contained one or more of the following material false statements: (1) false statement concerning the intent of the loan applicant to occupy the property as a primary residence; (2) false statement inflating the loan applicant’s income; (3) false statement concerning the loan applicant’s employment; (4) false statement that a property would be a rental property; and (5) failure to disclose that the loan applicant had recently purchased another property that contained a major financial liability, a mortgage.
The indictment further alleges that after the title company received the proceeds from the fraudulently obtained loans, portions of the proceeds were often converted into money orders and cash. Cano, as the seller of one of the properties charged in the indictment, also allegedly received a large cash disbursement from the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds. The indictment charges that Cano helped facilitate the mortgage fraud scheme in relation to six separate properties that were purchased in January and February of 2007. Each of the properties went into foreclosure after the straw buyers failed to make payments on the mortgages.
An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
A conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and Wire Fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine for each count. A conviction for Conspiracy to Commit Transactional Money Laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine. In determining the actual sentence, the judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.
The investigation was conducted by Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service and the United States Trustee’s Office. The prosecution is being handled by Jonathan Granoff, Assistant U.S. Attorney, District of Arizona. Tucson.