California man pleads guilty to $10.5M mortgage fraud conspiracy

by Francis Monfort17 Jan 2018
A California man who participated in a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in losses to lenders of approximately $10.5 million has plead guilty to a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud, according to US Attorney McGregor Scott.

Sergio Barrientos, along with co-conspirators Zalathiel Aguila and Omar Anabo, ran an entity named Capital Acess in Vallejo, Calif., from about September 2004 through February 2008.

According to court documents, the conspirators preyed on homeowners at risk of foreclosure and convinced them to sign away title in their homes. The three would spend the homeowner’s remaining equity for operational expenses of the scheme and personal expenses. The scheme further involved the use of straw buyers to obtain home loans worth millions of dollars from federally insured financial institutions under false pretenses.

As a result of the scheme, homeowners lost their homes and savings and lenders lost an approximate $10.5 million.

Barrientos is set to be sentenced by Judge Garland Burrell Jr. on April 6. He faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Aguila remains out of custody awaiting trial, while Anabo, charged elsewhere, is set for sentencing on April 27.

Related stories:
$1.2 billion scammed from investors in phony hard-money lending scam – SEC
Family-run mortgage scam nets $30 million


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