Crime - Sacto 911

Citrus Heights woman draws 3-year prison sentence for role in mortgage fraud

Fresno Bee file

A Citrus Heights woman has been sentenced to three years in federal prison for her role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Following a four-day jury trial in December, Dianna Woods, 60, was convicted of four counts of making false statements on loan applications, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release. She was sentenced Monday in Sacramento by Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb.

According to evidence presented during her trial, Woods was a licensed real estate salesperson for a company called VLD Realty, doing business as Trade House USA, in the Sacramento area. VLD built and sold houses in residential developments in Sacramento, Carmichael and Copperopolis.

As the housing market began to weaken from 2006 through 2008, VLD sought to sell houses by paying the down payment and giving buyers money after the transaction, neither of which was disclosed to the lenders, the news release said.

Woods purchased two houses based on the undisclosed kickbacks. To obtain mortgage loans to purchase the properties, Woods also signed and submitted loan applications and other documents that contained false statements as to her income, employment, assets, the purpose of the property, the sales price and whether the down payment was borrowed.

In addition, Woods assisted another buyer in making false statements to lenders to obtain loans for the purchase of two properties in the housing developments and falsely verified his employment.

The banks suffered nearly $2 million in losses through the fraudulent transactions in which Woods was involved, the news release said.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy