July 29, 2014

Bergen County Couple Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Mortgage Lenders of More Than $3 Million

NEWARK, NJ—A husband and wife from Bergen County, New Jersey, were both sentenced today to prison for lying about their employment, income, and other financial information in order to fraudulently obtain millions in mortgages, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Linda Yarleque, 44, was sentenced to 24 months in prison and her husband, Fabio Moreno Vargas, 47, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. They were previously convicted by a federal jury of one count each of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Yarleque and Moreno, of Westwood, New Jersey, were convicted in November 2013 following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls, who imposed the sentences today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:

Yarleque and Moreno obtained 10 fraudulent loans over three years. They falsified their employment and income, failed to disclose their debts and other properties that they owned, and lied about where they lived. They fraudulently obtained a total of $3.4 million in mortgages and personally pocketed approximately $269,000 through “cash out” refinancings that they directed to their own bank accounts. Then they spent that money on vacations, cars, and to buy more properties.

The defendants made up a phony business where Moreno was supposedly employed (My Limousine). They then obtained a phone line in the name of My Limousine and had it forwarded to their personal cell phones. When mortgage lenders called to verify Moreno’s employment, the defendants lied, posing as fictitious employees, using names such as “Janet Alvarez” and “Casandra Sterling.”

In addition to the prison term, Judge Walls sentenced Yarleque and Moreno to serve three years of supervised release and ordered them to pay restitution of $716,353 and forfeit $262,198.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencings.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Jamari Buxton of the general crimes unit and Rachael A. Honig, counsel to the U.S. Attorney.