Woman Sentenced to Prison for $1.7M Real Estate Scam

Allison Tussey —  November 1, 2012 — Leave a comment

Kathy J. Mascarenas, aka Kathy Oliver, 53, Westminster, Colorado, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Blackburn to serve 24 months in federal prison for wire fraud. Following her prison sentencing, Mascarenas was ordered to spend three years on supervised release. Judge Blackburn also ordered Mascarenas to pay restitution totaling $1,776,162.21. She will surrender to the Bureau of Prisons once a facility is designated.

Mascarenas pled guilty to two counts of wire fraud on March 20, 2012 before Judge Robert Blackburn. She was indicted on April 22, 2010 along with co-defendants Steven Mascarenas and Katrina Roberts. Katrina Roberts was sentenced to 20 months in prison on July 27, 2012. Steven Mascarenas pled guilty on July 12, 2012 and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Blackburn on November 16, 2012.

According to the indictment, beginning on December 1, 2004 and continuing until February 28, 2007, Kathy Mascarenas and a co-defendant assisted Steven Mascarenas in devising a scheme to defraud lenders that funded mortgage loans and for obtaining money from them by means of false pretenses. Specifically, Kathy Mascarenas conducted financial transactions as necessary to facilitate, perpetuate, and conceal the mortgage fraud as it related to the sale of residences at The Broadlands, a subdivision in Broomfield.

She put false information on applications when she purchased two of the houses involved in the scheme. She issued checks and purchased cashier’s checks for the buyers’ earnest money and down payments; she issued checks and obtained a cashier’s check to compensate the buyers for their participation; and she deposited loan proceeds into accounts under her control. She used entities which concealed Steven Mascarenas‘ involvement as the orchestrator of the scheme and obscured the extent of her own involvement. She sometimes used her maiden name, Kathy Oliver, or entities created under that name.

Also involved in the scheme was Katrina Roberts, who prepared appraisal reports for the purpose of the six properties in the scheme. In them, she falsely represented that the fair market values of the properties were from $100,000 to $325,000 great than their actual sales prices. To make the inflated values appear legitimate, Roberts falsely represented that purchases, which were actually sales at market value, were “distressed” sales or “quick” sales below market value, and that the properties had been “exposed on the open market at below market value.”

The loss amount is approximately $1,776,671.73 from the scheme.

U.S. Attorney John Walsh, FBI Special Agent in Charge James Yacone, and IRS-Criminal Investigation Acting Special Agent in Charge Lilia Ruiz announced the sentence.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the IRS-Criminal Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Linda Kaufman.

“Providing false information to obtain mortgage money fraudulently is a felony criminal offense,” said U.S. Attorney John Walsh. “By participating in this scheme, the defendant assisted in taking over $1.7 million that did not belong to her, and for that she has been punished.”

“Mortgage fraud directly threatens the financial health of the communities in which we live; IRS-CI will work diligently with our law enforcement partners to insure mortgage fraud is vigorously investigated and individuals are brought to justice,” said Lilia Ruiz, Acting Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.

“Working with the United States Attorney’s Office, the FBI will continue to identify and investigate those who prey on our banking system and undermine the financial stability of our housing markets,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone.

Allison Tussey

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