A Florida-based loan officer faces more than 30 years in federal prison if convicted on charges alleging she falsified divorce papers and child support payment information to help unqualified borrowers secure a loan, according to a Department of Justice indictment.
Evelisse Hernandez is charged with four counts of bank fraud and four counts of aggravated identity theft. Each count of bank fraud carries a potential sentence of as many as 30 years in prison and each count of aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive two year sentence.
She could also be ordered to pay $130,000 in restitution.
A spokesperson from Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General said that the loans funded were FHA-insured loans. “The amount listed at $130,000 is the amount of loss to HUD,” the HUD OIG spokesperson said.
The DOJ alleges Hernandez falsified borrower’s income by inflating monthly child support payments on mortgage loan applications. Her place of work was not disclosed.
The indictment also accuses the loan officer of creating fictious divorce papers showing her clients were entitled to receive monthly child support payments. In reality, borrowers did not have children or had never been married, according to the DOJ.
To make the divorce papers believable, the loan officer allegedly forged signatures of judges from the Circuit Court of the Ninth District of Florida on the fabricated final judgements of dissolution of marriage papers.
Hernandez is also accused of creating bogus Florida Department of Revenue statements showing her clients were receiving monthly child support payments, according to the indictment. She allegedly created phony prepaid debit card statements designed to serve as records of the borrowers withdrawing the monthly child support payments.
The DOJ contends the loan officer would then submit loan applications with the phony supporting documents to her company’s underwriting department. Based on Hernandez’s alleged misrepresentations, the financial institution approved and funded the mortgage loans, the government claims. It was not immediately clear how many loans the mortgage company funded.
The investigation was spearheaded by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the HUD’s Office of Inspector General and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.