Two California Men Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud in Okaloosa County
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 17, 2010|
PENSACOLA, FL—Yoba Falcon, 31, and Jose M. Esteves, 45, both of Anaheim, California, were sentenced to federal prison for mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced United States Attorney Pamela C. Marsh, Northern District of Florida. Both pled guilty to these offenses in the United States District Court in Pensacola earlier this year.
The charges arose as a result of Falcon’s efforts to obtain straw purchasers for eight town homes in the Diamond Lakes subdivision in Destin, Florida. The total purchase price of the town homes was over $2.5 million and the investigation conducted by FBI revealed that Falcon received a $68,000 kickback on each of the purchases. Esteves was the straw purchaser for four of the eight town homes. The investigation revealed the mortgage loan applications contained false information regarding the straw purchasers’ employment and residential history.
On September 9, 2010, Falcon was sentenced by U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers to 100 months’ imprisonment and three years of supervised release. The court also ordered Falcon to pay $229,775.83 in restitution. On September 17, 2010, Judge Rodgers sentenced Esteves to 10 months’ imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release.
In a related case, Elizabeth Rivera, 36, of Los Angeles, California, was sentenced on August 17, 2010, to serve six months in federal prison for perjury. Rivera was charged with committing perjury before the federal grand jury investigating Falcon, based on her false testimony that she had personally witnessed the notarized signatures of the straw purchasers on loan documents for financing to purchase the Diamond Lakes properties. At the time of the false notarizations, Rivera was employed at a mortgage company in California owned by Falcon.
Ms. Marsh praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, whose indispensable work investigating the fraud led to the convictions and sentences in this case.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Randall J. Hensel.