A former Chase Bank loss mitigation specialist faces up to 95 years in prison after being convicted of alerting a borrower — who’d fallen behind on payments on seven properties — of a possible criminal mortgage fraud investigation.

Frank E. Mendoza, 45, of Victorville, Calif., allegedly demanded a $25,000 bribe from the borrower, who contacted the FBI.

A jury determined that Mendoza agreed to accept $10,000 in cash, and that the the borrower made two payments of $5,000 to him. Mendoza was arrested after making the second payment on June 29, 2009.

Prosecutors said that as part of his work duties, Mendoza had been conducting an investigation of the delinquent borrower on loans made on seven properties in Palmdale, Calif.

Mendoza reported to Chase that he suspected the mortgages were obtained fraudulently, and in November 2008 Chase filed a Suspicious Activity Report with the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).

Several months later, prosecutors said, Mendoza approached the borrower and suggested that he pay $25,000 in exchange for Mendoza’s assistance with Chase and a possible federal criminal investigation.

Mendoza allegedly disclosed that the SAR had been filed and that a federal criminal investigation of the borrower was imminent.

He was convicted Monday after a one-week jury trial of three counts of bank bribery and one count of unlawfully disclosing a SAR. The jury found Mendoza not guilty of attempted economic extortion. He is scheduled to be sentenced May 25.

FinCEN is a bureau within the Treasury Department that requires all banks to report suspicious transactions and large currency transactions. FinCEN receives approximately 1 million SARs every year.

Lenders and regulators filed 35,135 SARs related to mortgage fraud in the first half of 2010, up 7 percent from a year before. Some 78 percent of SARs reported in the first quarter of 2010 were related to activity that occurred more than two years ago, FinCEN said.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
She almost quit but sold 259 so far this year!Watch Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription