The Colorado state attorney general’s office announced a 37-count indictment against six family members for using their status in the real estate industry to perpetrate a mortgage fraud scheme.

It is unclear what status the family held in the real estate industry, but it appeared to allow them to gain the trust of homebuyers.

“Through an elaborate scheme of falsifying documents and identities then propping up straw buyers, this family played on gullible people wanting to live the dream of homeownership,” said Attorney General John Suthers.

“Properties were illegally acquired, money was stolen, credit histories ruined and houses ended up in foreclosure,” Suthers said.  

The family was accused of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act based on the commission of crimes ranging from forgery and theft, to criminal impersonation and attempt to influence a public servant.

Those charged include: Jose Ricardo Sarabia-Martinez was the enterprise’s ringleader along with his wife, Lauren Maes Sarabia.

Younger twin brothers, Pedro Sarabia-Martinez and Pablo Sarabia-Martinez were also named in the indictment along with parents Ricardo Sarabia-Salcido  and Teresa Martinez.

Twelve properties are named in the indictment and the total potential loss to various lending institutions may be as high as $4.6 million.