Centerville Woman Sentenced in Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme
ALEXANDRIA, VA—Lorene Chittenden, 57, of Centerville, Va., was sentenced today to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and related charges arising from a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
The amounts in restitution and forfeiture that Chittenden will pay will be determined at a later hearing. More than $1 million dollars in bank accounts belonging to Chittenden were seized by law enforcement agents when the charges were first filed.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Fred W. Gibson, Principal Deputy Inspector General for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) Office of Inspector General made the announcement after sentencing by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.
Chittenden was found guilty after a six-day jury trial on May 7, 2014. According to court documents, Chittenden and her co-conspirators were responsible for over $15 million in losses to various lending institutions that purchased fraudulent loans that Chittenden originated as a loan officer at George Mason Mortgage, a subsidiary of federally-insured Cardinal Bank. The defendant and her co-conspirators from Manassas real estate firm Vilchez & Associates fraudulently inflated the income and assets of their clients to obtain mortgage loans in amounts that the clients were wholly unqualified for. Chittenden earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in loan commissions from the fraud, while ringleader Rosita Vilchez pocketed millions of dollars in real estate commissions. The Vilchez conspiracy targeted hundreds of non-English-speaking members of the northern Virginia Hispanic community who were not able to read the loan applications and closing documents they were asked to sign. Often the amount of the monthly mortgage payments was unknown or even misrepresented to the borrowers. Vilchez was recently arrested in Peru where she had been a fugitive. Her brother, Armando Pino, who was also a realtor at Vilchez & Associates, was arrested in Peru in December 2012. Both Vilchez and Pino are fighting extradition to the United States to face charges.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the FDIC Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Gillis and Julia K. Martinez prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:12-cr-00394.