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.