FRESNO, California – A federal grand jury returned an indictment against German Antonio Lopez-Velasquez, 55, of Modesto; Marko Antonio Lopez, 27, of Modesto; and Lisa Marie Santos, 48, of Long Beach, who are charging them with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud, US Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.
Lopez-Velasquez was also charged with witness tampering. He is said to have tried to persuade a person to give law enforcement officials false information about a mortgage loan under investigation.
According to court documents, Lopez-Velasquez and Lopez, who were both real estate agents, worked with Santos, a mortgage officer, to obtain fraudulent mortgage loans for properties in Stanislaus County, San Joaquin County, Santa Clara County and elsewhere. The three used false documents, fictional companies, and fictional people to obtain mortgage loans for borrowers who did not qualify to receive loans. In all, the defendants caused lenders to make at least 30 loans based on false information totaling over $10 million in loan amounts.
This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG), the US Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) and the US Postal Inspection Service ( USPIS). Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey A. Spivak is prosecuting the case.
“The FHFA-OIG is committed to holding accountable those who waste, steal or misuse the resources of FHFA-regulated government-sponsored companies accused of fraud,” said Jay Johnson, Special Agent in Charge, FHFA – OIG, Western Regional Office. “We are proud to have worked with the US Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners on this case, and to demonstrate once again that the FHFA-OIG will investigate and hold accountable those who attempt to harass government-sponsored corporations , which are overseen and regulated by FHFA.”
“This case demonstrates HUD OIG’s commitment to prosecuting and bringing to justice those who compromise federal programs such as the FHA Mortgage Insurance Fund for their own gain,” said Special Agent in Charge Mark T. Kaminsky of the HUD OIG Office of investigation “HUD OIG remains committed to working with our law enforcement partners and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of California to investigate and bring to justice those perpetrating mortgage fraud in Central California.”
If convicted, the defendants face the maximum statutory sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud. If convicted, Lopez-Velasquez faces a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for witness tampering. However, any penalty would be determined at the discretion of the court after considering all applicable legal factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which consider a number of variables. The charges are just allegations; The accused are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.