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Home arrow News arrow Imprisonment for 3 US Residents for Real Estate Scam
Imprisonment for 3 US Residents for Real Estate Scam Print E-mail
Friday, 21 July 2006
A Downey woman and two others on Thursday were indicted by a federal grand jury for their alleged part in a $12 million foreclosure scam that victimized more than 100 Southern California homeowners.

The revised indictment added seven counts of aggravated identity-theft charges on top of the 19 counts of mail fraud.  The scam targeted homeowners who were in default on their mortgages. According to the indictment, the defendants found their victims in databases listing pending foreclosure sales.

They cut a wide swath in Southern California, paying unsolicited visits to homeowners in cities such as Artesia, Carson, Downey, El Monte, Gardena, Lakewood, La Puente, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Van Nuys, Wilmington, West Covina and Westminster.

Instead of getting the refinancing, the defendants allegedly submitted loan applications to banks under the names of individuals supposedly buying the homes. The application information always contained false information about the buyers, the indictment said.

The buyers fell under two categories, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Rebecca Lonergan. Lenders funded the mortgages, which were paid off by the loan, the indictment said, and defendants pocketed whatever was left over. Rodriguez remains in prison as she awaits her trial.

It was also alleged that Rodriguez also operated the foreclosure scam while awaiting sentencing after she plead guilty in another fraud loan case - defrauding the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

By Mabelle Sese

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