Napoleon Olarte, a long-time fugitive believed to be in Venezuela after fleeing the U.S. approximately eight years ago, stands accused of participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded Wells Fargo out of $9 million.
Earlier this week, a federal grand jury indicted Olarte on nine counts, including one count of conspiracy, six counts of bank fraud, and two counts of making false statements to a financial institution, according to details provided by the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General.
The indictment alleges that Olarte took part in the mortgage fraud scheme with two co-conspirators, Juan Jose Calle and Nancy Karina Coleman, both of whom previously pleaded guilty to charges related to the scheme.
Calle pleaded guilty to wire fraud, while Coleman pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false statements to a financial institution.
According to court documents, Coleman worked as a mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo, and Calle and Olarte allegedly ran a “rogue brokerage and escrow company” in California called Fast Escrow.
Court documents allege that Coleman accepted bribes and other favors in exchange for approving approximately $9 million in fraudulent loans for Olarte and Calle.
The indictment claims that Olarte submitted fraudulent loan applications to Wells Fargo, which contained false information regarding borrowers’ income, assets and employment.
According to court documents, on some of the loans financed by Wells Fargo, Olarte and Calle allegedly failed to pay off existing loan holders and failed to record liens in favor of Wells Fargo, leaving the bank with no collateral when the loans defaulted.
The information provided by HUD-OIG, which participated in the investigation, does not establish when the alleged conduct took place, but federal authorities believe Olarte is currently residing in Venezuela after fleeing the U.S. eight years ago.
If convicted, Olarte would face a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison for each of the nine counts.