Home San Diego Press Releases 2009 Former Fugitive Arraigned on Mortgage Fraud Charges

Former Fugitive Arraigned on Mortgage Fraud Charges

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 16, 2009
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt announced that Lucette Montane, a fugitive since June 2008, was arraigned on a 2008 indictment in federal court today before Magistrate Judge Jan Adler. Montane surrendered to Customs and Border Protection officials yesterday at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, arrested Montane based on a pending arrest warrant.

On July 18, 2008, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Montane and five others with devising a plan to defraud and to obtain money and property by false and fraudulent means, related to mortgage fraud. According to court documents, in 2005, Abner Betech, Said Betech and others started Creative Financial Solutions, Inc. (“CFS”), a mortgage brokering company located at 707 Broadway Avenue, Suite 1720, San Diego. CFS was in the business of sending loan application packages and other documents to lenders for review and funding. The court documents further allege that CFS did not fund loans, but instead received commissions from the lenders when the loans closed. The defendants were loan officers at CFS and in addition to the commissions, they received payments from lenders, sellers, and buyers when loans closed.

The documents also allege that CFS obtained mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers by, among other things, concealing the true purchase price of the homes by submitting false purchase contracts; submitting false loan applications; intentionally concealing the fair market value of the home; using misleading appraisals; and submitting false bank statements and income documentation. In total, the victim lenders funded more than $16 million in loans on properties that have been foreclosed or are in the foreclosure process. The lenders have lost over $3.9 million, with potential losses in excess of $5.1 million, due to the fraudulent loans.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division.

DEFENDANT
Lucette Montane Age: 26
Criminal Case No. 08 CR 2387-W

SUMMARY OF CHARGES
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349 (Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud)
Maximum Penalties: 20 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1956(h) (Conspiracy to Launder Monetary Instruments)
Maximum Penalties: 20 years’ incarceration, a fine of $250,000, three years of supervised release

AGENCIES
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation

An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendant committed the crimes charged. The defendant is presumed innocent until the government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

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