Three Defendants Sentenced to Prison in Bakersfield and Fresno Mortgage Fraud Schemes
FRESNO, CA—In three separate cases, defendants convicted of carrying out mortgage fraud schemes in Fresno and Bakersfield were sentenced to prison today, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
Randy Lee Wilkins, 48, of Gilroy, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison for carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme in Fresno. Wilkins was also ordered to pay $736,965 in restitution. A federal jury found Wilkins guilty in January 2014 of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, three counts of bank fraud, and three counts of wire fraud. The court found that Wilkins obstructed justice by testifying falsely at trial and also found that he directed other conspirators in carrying out the scheme. According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, between April 2006 and May 2007, Wilkins had applications for three home loans submitted in a co-conspirator’s name that contained false statements concerning the co-conspirator’s income, assets, liabilities, and intent to occupy the properties as his personal residence. Wilkins also received kickbacks funded by loan origination fees and other charges. Wilkins has been in custody since the verdict was returned in January.
Antonio Perez-Marcial, 41, of Bakersfield, was sentenced to three years and 10 months in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme in Bakersfield. Perez-Marcial was also ordered to pay $3,455,250 in restitution. From 2007 to 2010, Perez-Marcial conspired with others to use straw buyers to purchase residential properties in Bakersfield. The loan applications the conspirators submitted to lenders frequently contained false statements concerning the straw buyers’ employment status, income, assets, intent to occupy the properties as their personal residences, and source of down payments for the purchase of the properties. They also submitted false supporting documentation to lenders such as false bank account statements, rent verifications, paystubs, and employment verifications.
Jeriel Salinas, 32, of Bakersfield, was sentenced to 19 months in prison and ordered to pay $1,488,762 in restitution for charges stemming from his involvement in an extensive Bakersfield mortgage fraud scheme that ran from January 2004 to September 2007. Salinas was a real estate agent at Crisp & Cole Real Estate (CCRE). According to court documents, the scheme defrauded mortgage companies and federally insured financial institutions by using straw buyers to acquire properties with funds borrowed from lenders based on false and fraudulent loan applications. The properties were nominally owned by the straw buyers but were controlled by CCRE and held for the benefit of CCRE. According to his plea agreement, Salinas acted as a straw buyer for CCRE and knowingly made misstatements and omitted information in loan applications he submitted to lenders. Salinas also served as a real estate agent on other transactions in the scheme.
Seven other defendants have been sentenced in the CCRE scheme: David Crisp and Carl Cole were each sentenced to 17 years and seven months in prison. Jayson Peter Costa was sentenced to six years and six months in prison. Michael Munoz was sentenced to two years in prison. Caleb Cole was sentenced to five months in prison. Jennifer Crisp was sentenced to five years of probation. Robinson Nguyen has completed his 27-month sentence. Two remaining defendants, Julie Farmer and Sneha Mohammadi, are scheduled to be sentenced on July 14, 2014.
In 2009 and 2010, five cases related to the CCRE scheme were brought against five defendants. All have pleaded guilty to the charges and two of those defendants are scheduled to be sentenced on May 27, 2014: Kevin Patrick Sluga and Leslie Sluga. Three are scheduled to be sentenced on June 2, 2014: Jerald Allen Teixeira, Megan Balod, and Christopher Lance Stovall.
The Wilkins and Salinas cases were the product of investigations by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Perez-Marcial case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Kirk E. Sherriff and Grant B. Rabenn prosecuted the Wilkins case. The Perez-Marcial case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirk E. Sherriff and Henry Z. Carbajal, III. The Salinas case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kirk E. Sherriff, Henry Z. Carbajal, III, and Christopher D. Baker.