Business & Real Estate

Vallejo man pleads guilty to $10 million mortgage fraud scheme

A Vallejo man pleaded guilty last week to wire fraud and bank fraud, allegedly involved in mortgage scheme that cost lenders more than $10 million, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott said Tuesday.

Zalathiel Aguila, 45, operated a fraudulent, predatory entity called Capital Access LLC, based in Vallejo, according to a news release.

Capital Access preyed on California homeowners close to foreclosure, the news release said, using “straw buyers” to defraud financial institutions out of millions of dollars in home loans under false pretenses.

The FBI and U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated, working with the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The scheme cost lenders an estimated $10.47 million, according to the news release.

Court documents show the fraud occurred between September 2004 and February 2008. The tail end of this timeline coincides with the Great Recession and the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.

Aguila worked with two co-conspirators, the news release said.

Aguila is scheduled for sentencing by U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. on Nov. 16. He’ll face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million, according to the news release.

Alleged co-conspirators Sergio Roman Barrientos and Omar Anabo are set to be sentenced Sept. 21 and April 26, respectively.