Guilty Plea in Bakersfield Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office May 06, 2013|
FRESNO, CA—Ricardo Fabian Salinas, 34, of Los Angeles, pleaded guilty today to bank fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme in Bakersfield, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from 2007 to 2010, Salinas, Eliseo Jara, Sergio Jara, and other co-defendants ran a scheme that defrauded banks and mortgage lenders by selling properties to nominee buyers using loans obtained with fraudulent applications and false documentation. At the time of the scheme, Salinas was a licensed real estate agent. Salinas purchased a residence as a nominee buyer from Jara Brothers Investments (JBI), owned by Eliseo Jara and Sergio Jara. They caused materially false statements and omissions to be submitted to the lender concerning Salinas’ income, the funds on deposit in his bank account, his rent expense, the source of funds for closing costs, and his lack of intent to occupy the property as his personal residence. They also caused false supporting documentation to be submitted. Ultimately, the property that Salinas purchased from JBI went into foreclosure when the loan payments were not made. Salinas admitted in his plea that the losses attributable to his role in the fraud scheme were approximately $575,000.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirk E. Sherriff and Henry Z. Carbajal III are prosecuting the case.
Salinas is scheduled to be sentenced on February 4, 2014, by Senior United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii. The maximum sentence for bank fraud is 30 years in prison. The actual sentence will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory sentencing factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. There are eight defendants charged in the case in addition to Salinas. The other eight defendants have pleaded not guilty, the charges as to them are only allegations, and they are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This announcement was done 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.