Real Estate Agent Sentenced to 18 Months in Federal Prison for Making False Statements in Connection with Mortgage Loan
FAYETTEVILLE, AR—Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas, announced today that Christian Sanchez, 47 of Rogers, Arkansas, was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison, three years of supervised release, and a $2,500 fine for making false statements to a financial institution relating to a mortgage loan application. Sanchez falsified a client’s employment information in order to obtain approval of the loan. The Honorable Timothy L. Brooks, U.S. District Court Judge for the Western District of Arkansas presided over the sentencing hearing. Sanchez was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $132,550.26.
U.S. Attorney Eldridge commented, “As this case shows, we are dedicated to identifying and prosecuting fraudulent misrepresentations designed to induce others to advance funds. In this case, a real estate agent perpetrated a scheme to falsify the employment of a client in order to get a loan approved. Such conduct is clearly fraudulent and has now been prosecuted.”
According to court records, on or about January 14, 2009, Sanchez, a real estate agent with Lighthouse Real Estate in Rogers, submitted false and fraudulent pay stubs to Countrywide Bank. Sanchez made the false statements for the purpose of influencing the action of the bank in connection with an application, commitment, and loan of Pedro and Maria Lerma for the purchase of property located in Rogers. The false information stated that Lerma was employed by Progressive General Builders, a company owned by the defendant’s brother. When the bank called to verify employment of Mr. Lerma, they were told that he had been employed there since January 2008, when in fact, he had never worked there. Upon interviewing Mr. Lerma, it was learned that Mr. Lerma had provided Sanchez with his tax returns and Sanchez then took all of Mr. Lerma’s information to the bank. Mr. Lerma also stated that he had never heard of Progressive General Builders, and that he had never worked there. Sanchez pled guilty to the charge on September 4, 2013.
This case was investigated by the FBI and HUD-Office of Inspector General. Assistant United States Attorney Mark Webb prosecuted the case for the United States.