Chesapeake Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office February 28, 2012|
NORFOLK, VA—Ray D. Gata, 56, of Chesapeake, Va., pleaded guilty today in Norfolk federal court to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme. Gata faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced on June 11, 2012.
Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John Boles, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Norfolk Division, made the announcement after Gata’s plea was accepted by United States District Senior Judge Robert G. Doumar. A federal grand jury previously indicted Gata on January 19, 2012.
According to court documents, from November 2006 until February 2011, Gata and a conspirator engaged in a foreclosure rescue scheme that defrauded homeowners and mortgage lenders. The conspirator promised homeowners that he could save them from foreclosure by arranging a sale of their homes to Gata and other straw borrowers. To further entice the homeowners, the conspirator promised that they could remain in their homes after the sale, pay rent, and he would resell the homes back to them once they were more financially secure. The conspirator and Gata profited from this scheme by taking all of the proceeds from the home sales. To complete the scheme, the conspirator and Gata executed false closing documents that showed the proceeds of the sale going back to the homeowners when, in fact, the proceeds were going to Gata, the conspirator, and the other straw borrowers. The homeowners received nothing from the sale of their homes while the conspirator, Gata and others received in excess of $170,000. In almost every case, the conspirator required the homeowners to pay more in rent to cover a larger mortgage, and ultimately evicted these homeowners from their homes.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Melissa E. O’Boyle is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.