Real Estate Investor Jailed for Straw Buyer Scam

Allison Tussey —  December 10, 2013 — 1 Comment

James Olivos, 47, Lake Mary, Florida, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell to 5 years in federal prison for bank fraud and money laundering.

As part of his sentence, the court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $2,866,121.39, the proceeds of the fraud scheme. Olivos pleaded guilty on September 18, 2013.

According to court documents, between March 2003 and November 2007, Olivos engaged in a scheme wherein he recruited straw purchasers to purchase expensive homes, which they could not afford. Olivos prepared loan applications for these straw purchasers, which grossly overstated their incomes and gave false employment histories. Additionally, these applications stated that these homes would be used as primary residences, but Olivos had actually told these buyers that the homes would be investments and that he would find renters to cover the mortgage payments.

Further, in order to increase his profits, Olivos convinced the sellers of the homes to inflate the sales prices by stating additional money would be necessary for home improvement. Olivos would then split the proceeds of the sales with the sellers. As a result of this fraud, Olivos caused a total loss to the lenders of approximately $3.2 million dollars.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Vincent S. Chiu.

Allison Tussey

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One response to Real Estate Investor Jailed for Straw Buyer Scam

  1. Mortgage fraud like this needs this type of tough procecution. Our industry has already taken enough of a black eye.

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