Adriana Cruz, 27, Miami, Florida, was sentenced by United States District Judge Alan S. Gold on September 18, 2009, for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the granting of two fraudulent home equity loans totaling approximately $1 million.
Cruz received a sentence of 15 months’ imprisonment and, following her prison term, 36 months of supervised release. Judge Gold also ordered Cruz to pay $796,701.65 in restitution. Cruz had entered a guilty plea to an indictment that charged her with conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349.
According to the indictment, Cruz‘s co-conspirators simultaneously submitted two fraudulent loan applications, each at $500,000, to Bank of America and Wachovia Bank. The applications and supporting documents contained stolen identification information belonging to a co-conspirator’s mother-in-law. In each application, the co-conspirators represented the mother-in-law as the purported borrower and pledged the mother-in-law’s house as collateral.
The fraudulent applications were submitted to co-conspirators who worked as loan officers at the banks. When each loan application was submitted, neither bank was made aware of the other pending loan. The purported borrower’s signatures were forged and Cruz obtained fake notarizations. Cruz, in turn, was given money. After the banks approved the loans and received back the closing documents, the proceeds were made available to the co-conspirators. These co-conspirators disbursed and shared the fraudulently obtained funds, which totaled approximately $800,000.
Cruz‘s co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty and received imprisonment terms in connection with this case.
Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Michael J. Folmar, Acting Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced the sentencing.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal-State Mortgage Fraud Strike Force and, in particular, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in this matter. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Joseph B. Shumofsky.