10 Indicted in $20M Real Estate Scam

They allegedly defrauded mortgage lenders and flipped homes

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Ten people have been indicted in a $20-million wide-ranging real estate scam in California, according to the U.S. Attorney.

    David Crisp, 31, was arrested Thursday night in San Diego. Carlyle Cole, 63, was arrested Thursday night in Ventura County. Julie Farmer, 42, Sneha Mohammadi, 49, Jayson Costa, 38, Jeriel Salinas, 29, Michael Munoz, 31, and Caleb Cole, 35, were arrested Thursday in Bakersfield. Robinson Nguyen, 30 was arrested Thursday in Monterey and Jennifer Crisp, 29, surrendered to authorities on Friday morning.

    The 10 are being charged in a 56-count indictment with conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud, and with individual counts of mail fraud.

    "Certain of the defendants were also charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to launder money," said U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

    The indictment was unsealed on Friday. It alleges that the defendants perpetrated a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders from approximately January 2004 to September 2007.

    The suspects allegedly submitted fraudulent loan applications.

    "Including misrepresentations concerning the borrower's income, assets, employment status, and intent to use the home as the borrower's primary residence," said Wagner.

    The indictment claims that the defendants then flipped the homes.

    "Typically increased the loan amounts and used close to 100 percent financing, in order to extract the inflated equity amounts from the properties on each financing transaction," said Wagner.

    Crisp and Cole owned Crisp, Cole & Associates (CCA), also known as Crisp & Cole Real Estate and controlled Tower Lending, CCA's in-house mortgage broker business.

    "CCA generally acted as the real estate brokerage on the sales, and Tower Lending acted as the mortgage brokerage on the financing transactions, generating substantial commissions and fees for the defendants on each transaction," said Wagner.

    The scheme involved more than $20 million in losses to lenders.