What do you think Six charged in scheme to obtain home loans for illegal aliens?
King County prosecutors have filed theft charges against six members of a Bellevue mortgage company accused of helping illegal immigrants obtain home loans.
In charging documents, prosecutors claim the bulk of Casalinda Mortgage’s business came from illegal immigrants to whom firm employees had given false Social Security numbers.
State regulators and the Secret Service launched an investigation into the business in July 2007 following an anonymous tip to the Department of Financial Institutions. Six people — all related by blood or marriage — have now been charged with felony theft.
“The evidence showed that Casalinda employees knew that many of their client-applicants were themselves illegal aliens without valid Social Security numbers, and nevertheless intentionally listed false Social Security numbers on the loan applications in order to get the borrower qualified for the loan,” a Secret Service agent on the case told the court.
“In essence,” he added, “Casalinda Mortgage was a ‘mortgage mill’ for fraudulent buyers.”
According to charging papers, documents seized during a November 2008 showed that about 74 percent of Casalinda’s loans made between April 2007 and October 2008 were fraudulently obtained, amounting to about $ 14.9 million in loans, according to charging documents. Those loans accounted for about $ 550,000 in premiums and fees for Casalinda employees.
Prosecutors claim Casalinda employees grossly exaggerated income in one case, telling a bank that a man earning $ 700 a month was making $ 4,380.
Writing the court, investigators contend several of the accused bilked borrowers through exorbitant fees or inflated interest rates.
To obtain licenses to originate the loans, employees at the firm used Social Security numbers issued to others on applications to the state Department of Financial Institution, according to charging documents. Prosecutors claim one woman used a Social Security number issued to a 29-year-old man; another used a number issued to a man born in 1881 and long dead. One man used a Social Security number issued to an 11-year-old girl.
Writing the court, Deputy Prosecutor Amanda Froh noted that close ties between those accused.
“Most of the defendants are related by either blood or marriage and have strong family ties in the state of Sinaloa, Mexico,” Froh said in court documents.
Four of those charged — Juan Luis Peraza, 44, Rafael Trejo, 36, Carlos Montana, 37, Isaac Martinez, 37 — are believed to have fled to Mexico. Two other defendants, Oscar Gonzalez, 29, and Dolores E. Pimienta-De Sinner, 52, are currently in custody at the King County Jail.
Each has been charged with first-degree theft on allegations that they caused several banks to issue loans through fraud.