Former Bakersfield Real Estate Agent Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme
FRESNO, CA—Arlene Jeanette Mojardin, 32, of Bakersfield, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii to two years and six months in prison for conspiring to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme in Bakersfield, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from 2007 to 2010, Mojardin conspired with others to use straw buyers to purchase residential properties in Bakersfield. They paid straw buyers to purchase properties developed by Jara Brothers Investments (JBI) and Pershing Partners LLC and funded the purchases using loans they obtained based on false and fraudulent loan applications. The loan applications contained false statements concerning the straw buyers’ employment status, income, assets, intent to occupy the properties as their personal residences, and the source for the down payments for the purchase of the properties. The conspirators concealed from the lenders that the property developers funded some down payments. They submitted false supporting documentation to lenders such as false and altered bank account statements purporting to show that the straw buyers had high bank account balances, false verifications of the straw buyers’ bank account funds, false verifications of rent purporting to be from the straw buyers’ landlords, false pay stubs, and false verifications of employment.
Mojardin was a licensed real estate agent and handled many of the real estate transactions in furtherance of the conspiracy. She was also employed at relevant times at JBI, was a property buyer from Pershing Partners on at least two of the real estate transactions in the conspiracy, and obtained loans based on false and fraudulent information. Mojardin received proceeds from the conspiracy including payments for purchasing property as a nominee buyer and payments for acting as the real estate agent on many of the other transactions in the conspiracy. Mojardin admitted she caused lenders approximately $3,713,600 in losses due to her role in the conspiracy.
This case is the product of a joint investigation by the Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirk E. Sherriff, Henry Z. Carbajal III, and Megan A. S. Richards are prosecuting the case.
Co-defendant Antonio Perez-Marcial was sentenced on May 12, 2014, to three years and 10 months in prison for his role in the conspiracy. Co-defendant Candace Gonzales previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, and her sentencing is set for June 8, 2015. Co-defendant Ricardo Salinas previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud, and his sentencing is set for June 29, 2015. Co-defendant Melissa Jara pleaded guilty to wire fraud and her sentencing is set for June 22, 2015. Co-defendants Eliseo and Sergio Jara previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud, and their sentencing hearings are set for June 22, 2015. Co-defendants Lucia and Joseph Chavez previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud and their sentencing hearings are set for July 20, 2015.
The charges were brought 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’s 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. Since fiscal year 2009, the Justice Department has filed over 18,000 financial fraud cases against more than 25,000 defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.StopFraud.gov.