Four Sacramento-area residents have been convicted in federal court of charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme.
A jury on Monday found Olga Palamarchuk, 45, of Rancho Cordova; Pyotr Bondaruk, 44, and Vera Zhiry, 35, both of Sacramento; and Peter Kuzmenko, 37, of West Sacramento, guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Palamarchuk and Bondaruk were found guilty of also making false statements to a financial institution and money laundering, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Zhiry was found guilty also of money laundering.
According to evidence presented during the three-week trial, Palamarchuk, a loan officer at Capital Mortgage Lending Inc., recruited Bondaruk to purchase two houses using 100 percent financing and to refinance and obtain a home equity line of credit on one of the houses. To qualify for the loans, Palamarchuk and Bondaruk submitted fraudulent loan applications to lenders, falsely stating Bondaruk’s employment, income, assets and intent to occupy the homes as his primary residence.
In addition, the defendants fraudulently inflated the value of the properties and diverted the excess funds to themselves. For example, authorities said, Kuzmenko received $32,378 in seller’s proceeds for landscaping and pool work that his company Pete’s Pool Service purportedly performed on a house that didn’t have a pool. Zhiry received $100,000 to pay off a purported debt owed by the sellers that the sellers denied existed, and Zhiry provided $40,000 of that money to Olga Palamarchuk.
Kuzmenko was found guilty in a separate mortgage fraud scheme in February and is in custody.
The defendants are to be sentenced Oct. 1 before U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley.
The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI and the IRS - Criminal Investigation.