Ex-Fannie Mae employee faces charges of accepting bribes, kickbacks

by Francis Monfort02 Feb 2018
A California woman is set to stand trial over allegations that she earned more than $1 million from a fraudulent scheme she ran as an employee of Fannie Mae.

Shirene Hernandez faces two counts of wire fraud on claims that she took bribes and approved discounted sales of Fannie Mae-owned properties to herself and to brokers in exchange for cash kickbacks. She entered a plea of not guilty upon arraignment and was released on a $65,000 bond.

During the alleged scheme, Hernandez served as an REO foreclosure specialist at the GSE and was responsible for assigning Fannie Mae-owned properties to listing brokers and approving sales of those properties based on offers submitted by those brokers.

The indictment alleges that between April 2011 and at least July 2016, the defendant approved sales of certain of those properties to herself and to brokers at discounted prices. In exchange, she received cash kickbacks. Hernandez is also alleged to have received bribes from brokers in exchange for listing opportunities and the resulting commissions that brokers earned on sales. These bribes came in the form of cash payments, gifts, and other things of value.

In one instance, Hernandez purchased a Fannie Mae-owned property through intermediaries and alter-egos. Hernandez received the rent proceeds when the property was later rented out, according to the indictment.

In case of a conviction for the two charges in the indictment, Hernandez would face a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison on each count.


Related stories:
Multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme lands NY man in prison
3 indicted over alleged $2.5M loan-modification scheme
 

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