Six more indicted in $40 million mortgage scheme in California
A grand jury in San Jose, Calif., indicted six defendants in a $40 million mortgage scheme this week. The alleged perpetrators profited from arranging and selling mortgages for high-end homes to low-income families who were always at risk of default. The grand jury indicted Norma Valdovinos, Claudia Valdovinos, Linda Dung Tran, Elaine Ly and Pablo Curiel, of San Jose, as well as Jesus Chavez, of Gilroy, Calif., according to the Federal Bureau of Investigations office in San Francisco. The 32-count indictment brings the total number of defendants tied to the mortgage fraud scheme to 10. Last year, four other defendants were indicted in connection to this case. The FBI said the accused induced banks to lend $40 million to borrowers who were not qualified for the mortgages. In addition, authorities claim the defendants profited from the scheme, receiving more than $1 million in commissions. The FBI alleges Norma Valdovinos and Chavez used their roles as real estate agents for Century 21 Golden Hills Real Estate to solicit low-income homebuyers to purchase homes valued at more than $500,000. Those clients were then referred to Linda Tran, who owned Palacio Mortgage. Tran inflated and misrepresented the loan applicants' income, assets and employment information, so they could acquire the loans, the FBI alleges. Tran was assisted by Ly and Claudia Valdovinos in falsifying information on the standard Uniform Residential Loan Applications. Curiel provided funds for the down payments without the banks knowledge. All of the defendants face charges of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and making a false statement to a bank. Norma Valdovinos and Tran also were charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. Write to: Kerri Panchuk.