Rockville Man Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office January 23, 2014|
GREENBELT, MD—U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte sentenced Edgar Galdamez, age 37, of Rockville, Maryland, today to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Judge Messitte entered an order that Galdamez pay $515,000 in restitution and forfeiture, the amount of loss resulting from the scheme.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Stephen E. Vogt of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to his plea, from at least September 2006 through May 2007, Galdamez and others contacted individuals who wished to purchase homes as investment properties. Galdamez and others prepared and submitted false loan applications in the buyers’ names to the lending institution to qualify these individuals for loans that they otherwise were unqualified to obtain. For instance, they typically inflated the buyer’s income and omitted liabilities. They also falsely stated that the purpose of the property was to be the borrowers’ primary residences in order to receive a lower interest rate. Galdamez knew that the property was intended to be used as an investment property. These residential mortgages were destined to fail because the borrowers did not have the income or assets to make the necessary mortgage payments. Galdamez and others profited from these fraudulent transactions by collecting origination fees, commissions, and brokers’ fees from each loan that closed.
As a result of the fraud scheme, the lender lost $515,000.
The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established to unify the agencies that regulate and investigate mortgage fraud and promote the early detection, identification, prevention, and prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes. This case, as well as other cases brought by members of the task force, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect consumers from fraud and promote the integrity of the credit markets. Information about mortgage fraud prosecutions is available www.justice.gov/usao/md/Mortgage‑Fraud/index.html.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 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 more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Sujit Raman, who prosecuted the case.