Las Vegas Escrow Officer Convicted in Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 27, 2013|
LAS VEGAS—Following a two-week jury trial, a Las Vegas real estate escrow officer was convicted today of conspiracy and fraud charges for her involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme that caused millions of dollars in losses to the lenders and financial institutions, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Theresa Marcianti, 60, of Las Vegas, was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank, mail, and wire fraud; two counts of bank fraud; and one count of wire fraud, and is scheduled to be sentenced on December 10, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. She faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy count and up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each bank fraud and wire fraud count.
“Over the last five years, we have made the prosecution of mortgage fraud cases a priority,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “This type of fraud was a catalyst to the real estate crisis in Nevada. Punishing those criminals for their actions should send a strong message to others who are looking to profit from the misfortune of others.”
According to the indictment and evidence presented to the jury during the trial, from about 2003 to 2008, Marcianti, a real estate escrow officer who worked for Lawyer’s Title and National Alliance Title, conspired with others to trick lenders into making home loans through the use of false statements. The conspirators cheated lenders by using straw buyers to buy homes, submitting false information to lenders to make it appear that the straw buyers qualified for the loans and taking a portion of the loans for their personal gain. Marcianti helped the co-conspirators submit the false information to the lenders to obtain the mortgage loans.
The conspirators in the scheme obtained control of approximately 227 properties, which had a total purchase price of more than $100 million. The exact number of fraudulent transactions in which Marcianti was involved and the losses for which she is responsible will be determined at sentencing in December.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel R. Schiess and Kimberly M. Frayn.
This case was handled in connection with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices ,and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.