Robert Duran, 35, an unlicensed real estate agent and property investor, was sentenced to 36 months in federal prison follwed by three years supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $2,827,723.23 after pleading guilty in February 2008 to three counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting. Duran participated in a scheme the resulted in losses of over $3.5 Million Dollars to HUD. According to the plea agreement, between August 1993 and May 2001, aided and abetted by others, Duran caused the funding and insuring of approximately $11,454,147 in fraudulent FHA-insured home mortgage loans on at least 73 properties in Los Angeles and Riverside counties, California. All of the properties went into default and were resold at a loss to HUD of approximately $3,556,612.
The presentencing reports were filed under seal, indicating that Duran may be cooperating with the authorities. Duran filed a notice of appeal on March 5, 2009.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, the information filed in September 2007 alleges that Duran worked as an unlicensed real estate agent and property investor for real estate and investment companies including Dynamic Brokers (aka Century 21 Dynamic Brokers). As an investor, Duran provided false employment, credit and income documents to mortgage lenders. Many of the transactions which he worked on or in which he invested involved mortgage loans submitted to lenders insured by the FHA.
The information further alleges that Duran acted as a real estate agent on sales of property to non-qualifying buyers (either straw buyers, fictitious buyers or buyers that did not qualify for an FHA insured mortgage loan.) Duran would also assist investors in facilitating sale of property to non-qualifying buyers or would, himself act as an investor. He caused fraudulent employment, income, credit and identification documents to be submitted to FHA and enlisted notaries to falsely notarize that they witnessed the signing of loan documents. Duran also used the notary books of others to falsely notarize loan documents without the knowledge of those notaries. Duran placed down payments into escrow on behalf of non-qualifying buyers.
The properties which support each of the counts in the information and plea agreement are as follows:
12812 South Williams Avenue, Compton, California
4512 Wesley Avenue, Los Angeles, California
6122 Miramonte Boulevard, Los Angeles, California