Ramon Puentes, Jorge Nobrega, Jorge Arrieta and Sebastian Kishinevsky have been sentenced for their roles in a bank fraud scheme that resulted in the approval and disbursement of two fraudulent home equity loans, totaling approximately $1 million.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, the defendants were indicted for their respective roles in obtaining two fraudulent loans, one from Bank of America and the other from Wachovia, each in the amount of $500,000. The defendants simultaneously submitted two fraudulent loan applications, one to Bank of America and one to Wachovia, using the stolen identification information of one of the defendant’s mother-in-law and supported by fraudulent documents. Each loan application listed the mother-in-law as the purported borrower and a home owned by the mother-in-law as the collateral.
The fraudulent Bank of America application was submitted to defendant Arrieta, a personal banker at Bank of America, who received a $50,000 kickback for his participation in the criminal scheme. The fraudulent Wachovia application was submitted to defendant Kishinevsky, a financial specialist at Wachovia, who received a total of $2,000 for his role in the fraud. At the time of the submission of the fraudulent loan applications, neither bank was made aware of the other pending loan application.
After the loan at each bank was approved and the funds were made available, the defendants disbursed and shared the fraudulently obtained loan proceeds, receiving in total approximately $800,000.
Puentes pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and identity theft, in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349 and 1028A. Nobrega pled guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1349. Arrieta pled guilty to the bank fraud perpetrated against Bank of America, and Kishinevsky pled guilty to the bank fraud against Wachovia, each in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1344.
U.S. District Judge Alan S. Judge Gold sentenced the defendants as follows: (1) Puentes – 57 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release and $796,701.65 in restitution; (2) Nobrega – 27 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years supervised release and $796,701.65 in restitution; (3) Arrieta – 22 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by 5 years supervised release and $470,025 in restitution; and (4) Kishinevsky (who cooperated with the government and assisted with the investigation) – 12 months (6 months of imprisonment and 6 months of home confinement), to be followed by 3 years supervised release and $326,676.65 in restitution.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal-State Mortgage Fraud Strike Force with special commendation to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph B. Shumofsky.