Rocklin Man Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Case
SACRAMENTO, CA-United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced that seven people were charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, and making false statements in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving the purchase of at least 23 homes.
On March 28, 2013, a federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Aleksandr Kovalev, 50, of Rocklin; Arthur Chang Menefee, 42, of Stockton; Adil Qayyum, 31, of Rosele, Illinois; Jannice Riddick, aka Jannice Frazier, 30, of Sacramento; Florence Francisco, 62, of Houston, Texas; Elsie Pamela Fuller, 38, of Richmond, California; and Leona Yeargin, 46, of San Pablo, California. Fuller and Yeargin were also charged with aggravated identity theft for using stolen identification to purchase a home as part of the mortgage fraud scheme.
According to the indictment, Kovalev developed, built, and sold property in Sacramento. In a declining real estate market, Kovalev; Menefee, a licensed real estate salesperson; Riddick, a licensed real estate salesperson; and Francisco, a licensed mortgage broker, recruited others with sufficient credit scores to act as straw buyers for residential properties. Kovalev, through Menefee, Riddick, Francisco, and Qayyum, made cash incentive payments to the straw buyers. These payments were concealed from the lenders. In order to qualify for the mortgage loans, Menefee, Riddick, Francisco, and Fuller also allegedly prepared fraudulent loan applications to lenders, falsely stating the straw buyers' incomes, assets, and intents to occupy the homes as their primary residences. Further, Yeargin and Fuller used the identification of another individual without that individual's knowledge or authorization to purchase a property from Kovalev as part of the mortgage fraud scheme. Additionally, Menefee and Qayyum participated in a similar mortgage fraud scheme with respect to properties sold by individuals other than Kovalev.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Sacramento County District Attorney's Office. Assistant United States Attorney Todd A. Pickles is prosecuting the case.
If convicted of wire or mail fraud or of making false statements on a loan application, the defendants Kovalev, Menefee, Qayyum, Riddick, and Francisco face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Fuller and Yeargin face a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charges of wire and mail fraud and a consecutive two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft counts. Any sentences, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.
The charges are only allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
These cases were done in connection with the president's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices, and state and local partners, it is the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory, and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state, and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets; and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions, and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed nearly 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants, including more than 2,900 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
Pet Care | Real Estate | Restaurants | Tech | View All | * Add/Upgrade Business
Placer County News HeadlinesRoseville Man Arrested in House Party RobberyBrent Leo Alan Mason, age 19 of Roseville, was arrested without incident at an apartment complex in Rocklin
Pink By The Pool September 17th at Thunder Valley CasinoThe Placer Breast Cancer Foundation is hosting the annual Pink By The Pool fundraising event, Thursday, Sept. 17 at Thunder Valley Casino.
Feed My Starving Children Dinner in Roseville September 12thROSEVILLE - The annual Feed My Starving Children dinner on Sept. 12th will help raise money to pack meals for malnourished children around the world
O2 breathe Walk in Roseville set for October 10thO2 breathe fundraising Walk, benefiting the Pulmonary Hypertension Association on Saturday, October 10, 2015 at Maidu Park in Roseville.
Roseville Gas Price Battle: Costco vs. Sam's ClubRoseville, CA - Roseville gas prices continue to drop bringing welcome relief to motorists. The price war between Costco and Sam's Club in Roseville continues to benefit consumers
California Fire Updates Summary (8-29-15)California Fire Updates 2015: Although 6,300 firefighters remain on the lines battling 13 active wildfires, crews made significant progress over the past couple of days.
Retired Navy Captain Assists Returning VetsTom Mayhew was only 6 when he watched his father march his mother down the hall of their El Paso, Texas, home with a rifle pointed at her back.
Toyota Highlander continues to shine as midsize SUVOne of the most highly-rated midsize sport utility vehicles is the Toyota Highlander, a sensible, well designed crossover.
WJU Gala to Honor Four Esteemed AlumniROCKLIN, Calif. - William Jessup University will honor four esteemed alumni who are excelling in their respective fields of endeavor at its annual Jessup Gala
California Fire Update Summary (8-28-15)California Fire Updates 2015: A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Saturday from the Lake Tahoe region south through Mono County for high winds, increasing fire danger
Hacker Lab Jumpstarts Pursuit of Virtual RealityROCKLIN, CA--When three Sierra College students attended the July 24 Virtual Reality meet-up at Hacker Lab in Rocklin, they had no idea it would put them on the fast track
Sierra College Patrons to Meet September 8thRocklin, CA - The Patrons, a volunteer support group of the Sierra College Foundation, invite the public and those interested in becoming members of the organization
NEWS: In Case You Missed It