Stockton Loan Officer Charged with Mortgage Fraud
SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment Thursday against Mark F. Friend, 60, of Stockton, charging him with six counts of bank fraud relating to a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the indictment, in 2005 and 2006 while working for National City Mortgage, then a division of National City Bank, in Stockton, Friend arranged loans for borrowers that contained numerous falsehoods. He submitted false loan applications and other documents, and he made down payments on behalf of borrowers who did not have enough money, and then was repaid out of escrow after the loans were funded. The loss to National City Bank was approximately $1.5 million.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys John K. Vincent and Christiaan H. Highsmith are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Friend faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each count of bank fraud. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.