John A. Bui, 46, San Jose, California, pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco to wire fraud conspiracy, destruction of records in a federal investigation and witness tampering.
In pleading guilty, Bui admitted that, in a scheme that began in 2003 and continued until approximately April 30, 2009, he defrauded mortgage lenders and financial institutions by providing false and fraudulent information in support of mortgage loan applications. Working out of an office in Milpitas, California, Bui and his employees assisted individuals who wanted to obtain mortgages from mortgage lenders so they could purchase residential properties in the Northern District of California and elsewhere. As a part of this scheme, Bui routinely transmitted fraudulent loan applications to mortgage lenders. Those loan applications contained false employment information and false and inflated income and bank account information, which was intended to inflate the borrowers’ creditworthiness. In addition, the loan applications were supported by false and forged documents that purported to verify the borrowers’ employment, income and assets. Bui, and other members of the scheme, used a network of co-conspirators who agreed to pose as the borrowers’ employers and falsely verify to the mortgage lenders the accuracy of the employment and income information listed on the loan applications. As a result of Bui‘s participation in this conspiracy he illegally earned no less than $3.5 million.
Bui also admitted at the time of his guilty plea that on or about May 2, 2009, after learning that agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation had executed a search warrant on the San Francisco office of a co-conspirator, he destroyed and caused to be destroyed substantially all of the loan files in his possession with the intent of preventing the FBI from obtaining evidence of his mortgage fraud activities.
Bui also admitted that on or about May 28, 2009, he caused a letter to be delivered to an individual located within the Northern District of California who he believed was cooperating with the FBI’s investigation. Bui‘s letter asked the individual not to provide information to the FBI agents assigned to the investigation.
Bui, who is currently in custody, is scheduled to be sentenced on November 6, 2009, before U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 is 30 years and a fine of $1 million. The maximum statutory penalty for destruction of records in a federal investigation in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1519 is 20 years and a fine of $250,000. The maximum statutory penalty for witness tampering in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1512(b)(3) is 20 years and a fine of $250,000. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Bui has agreed to forfeit $3.5 million to the United States.
United States Attorney Joseph P. Russoniello announced the plea agreement.
Four other individuals have been charged in connection with the case.
Jeffrey Finigan and Jeffrey Rabkin are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia and Rayneisha Booth. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.