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‘Ringleader’ of massive mortgage fraud scheme gets 5 years for targeting Hispanics

Rosita Vilchez allegedly preyed on clients who were not proficient in English

The leader of a massive mortgage fraud scheme that generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and cost lenders more than $15 million will spend the next 66 months in prison for her role in a scam that preyed on hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community.

According to the Department of Justice, Rosita Vilchez, 41, acted as the “kingpin” of a “wide-ranging” mortgage fraud conspiracy. Vilchez was captured in Lima, Peru, subsequently extradited back to the U.S., and pleaded guilty on Aug. 18.

According to court documents, Vilchez operated a real estate firm (Vilchez & Associates), a title insurance company (Pino Title), and the branch of a loan brokerage business (Mount Vernon Capital Corporation) in Manassas, Va., all of which she used to carry out the fraud scheme.

The DOJ said that between August 2005 and August 2007, Vilchez and her co-conspirators submitted fraudulent loan documents that falsified their real estate clients’ income, employment, and assets so that they could obtain loans to buy property through Vilchez real estate firm, Vilchez & Associates, which received commissions of as much as 6% of the selling price of every home.

According to the DOJ, the conspiracy led by Vilchez targeted Hispanic clients who were not proficient in spoken or written English, and the borrowers often were unable to read their loan documents and were unaware of the false statements submitted to the lenders on their behalf.

According to court filings, the fraudulent loan applications allowed the borrowers to qualify for loans they could not afford to repay. Most of these borrowers later lost their homes to foreclosure.

In total, 13 defendants have been convicted in connection with this conspiracy, the DOJ said.

As part of her sentence, Vilchez was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release after her prison term. 

A forfeiture money judgment of more than $5 million was previously entered against Vilchez, the DOJ said.

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