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Five prison-bound in SoCal fraud case

Defendant who broke promise to return funds gets 15 years

Five people have been sentenced to prison in Southern California for offering to help homeowners facing foreclosure refinance, then using straw buyers to obtain more than 100 mortgage loans totaling more than $40 million. Martha Rodriguez, 38, of Downey, allegedly orchestrated the mortgage fraud scheme, and was sentenced to 10 years in prison this week by U.S. District Judge George H. King after pleading guilty to mail fraud and money laundering charges. Edward Seung Ok, 44, of Huntington Beach, pleaded guilty to mail fraud, and was sentenced to 15 years in prison after refusing to account for proceeds of the scheme in an offshore bank account that he had agreed to return, prosecutors said. Ok, who was arrested with Rodriguez five years ago (see story), admitted that he spent more than $1 million during a two-year period when he was free on bond in this case, prosecutors said. Ok allegedly transferred more than $1.6 million to an account in the Bank of Nevis on the Caribbe...

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