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Family affair: Wife, husband, and daughter all jailed for $20M mortgage fraud

Matsuba family members collectively get more than 45 years in jail

It appears that the family that commits mortgage fraud together goes to jail together, too.

Three members of a California family who ran a foreclosure company will spend more than 45 years in jail, collectively, after each was found guilty of participating in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme that preyed on financially distressed homeowners.

According to the Department of Justice, Dorothy Matsuba, her husband, Thomas Matsuba, and her daughter, Jamie Matsuba, each received a sentence of more than 10 years in jail for taking part in the nearly decade-long scheme.

Court documents showed that from January 2005 through August 2014, Dorothy Matsuba, Jamie Matsuba, Thomas Matsuba, other members of Dorothy Matsuba’s family, and others participated in a scheme that defrauded financially distressed homeowners by offering foreclosure prevention via short sales.

But instead of executing the short sales as promised, the Matsubas and others rented out the properties to other people, did not pay the mortgages on the subject properties, and submitted fake and falsified documents to mortgage lenders and servicers to delay the pending foreclosures.

Evidence presented at trial further showed that the Matsubas ran an “interlocking web” of companies, primarily under the names of Ownership Management Service and Trust Holding Service.

According to the DOJ, the Matsubas were able to use stolen identities to take out mortgages, and used additional schemes, including filing bankruptcy in the names of distressed homeowners without their knowledge and faking liens on the distressed properties.

Dorothy Matsuba pleaded guilty in early December 2017 to one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud, false statements to a federally insured bank or mortgage lending business, and identity theft, five counts of wire fraud, six counts of false statements to federally insured banks, and six counts of aggravated identity theft. 

Later that month, a one-week trial led to Jamie Matsuba and Thomas Matsuba being convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements to federally insured banks, and committing identity theft and one count of making false statements to federally insured banks.

Dorothy Matsuba received a sentence of 240 months, while Jamie Matsuba was sentenced to 135 months and Thomas Matsuba was sentenced to 168 months. Each was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release upon exiting prison.

Additionally, two other alleged conspirators and Matsuba family members have been charged in this case. According to the DOJ, Jane Matsuba-Garcia, who is another of Dorothy Matusba’s daughters, previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.

Dorothy Matsuba’s brother, Young Park faces one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, make false statements and commit identity theft. According to the DOJ, Park is a fugitive.

Also, in related cases, Jason Hong and Ryu Goeku previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.  

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