Archives For Mortgage Fraud

Maria Santa, 41, Sacramento, California, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for failing to surrender for service of her sentence.

According to court documents, Maria Santa was previously sentenced to 20 months in prison for mortgage fraud and was ordered to begin serving her sentence in February 2014. When her motion for bail pending appeal was denied, she fled the jurisdiction and left a note at her residence that made it appear that she had committed suicide.

On August 26, 2016, Maria Santa was arrested in Sacramento, California as a passenger in a vehicle her husband Virgil Santa was driving. She was found in possession of an identification document belonging to her twin sister.

Virgil Santa, 43, Sacramento, California is charged with harboring a fugitive in relation to Maria Santa’s offense. The charge is only an allegation, he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordered today’s sentence to be served consecutive to Santa’s original sentence.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared C. Dolan and Amanda Beck are prosecuting the case.

 

Arthur Change Menefee, 46, Stockton, California was sentenced today to three years in prison and ordered to pay over $5 million in restitution, for his participation in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme.

According to court documents, Menefee was a licensed real estate agent who aided unqualified buyers in obtaining loans to purchase properties. Some of the properties were sold by co‑defendant Aleksandr Kovalev, who offered kickbacks to the buyers that were not disclosed to the lenders. Menefee assisted the buyers in preparing loan applications that included false information, and used fictitious companies he created to generate false information about the buyers’ employment and income to support the fraudulent loan applications. At least 23 properties were involved in Menefee’s mortgage fraud scheme, with substantial losses to the lenders.

To date, co-defendants Aleksandr Kovalev, Jannice Riddick, Florence Francisco, Adil Qayyum, Elsie Pamela Fuller, and Leona Yeargin have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Two other defendants, Valeriy Vasilevitsky, charged in United States v. Vasilevitsky, 2:12-cr-344 KJM, and Ruth Willis, charged in United States v. Willis, 2:13-cr-00228 MCE, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced with respect to their involvement in the scheme.

United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert made the announcement.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Pickles is prosecuting the case.