Crime - Sacto 911

Two men sentenced in Sacramento-area mortgage fraud cases

Two men were sentenced today in federal court in Sacramento in two related mail fraud cases involving the purchase and sale of 24 Sacramento-area homes in 2007 and 2008.

U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller sentenced Vadim Vilchitsa, 32, of Sacramento to 15 months in prison, and Yevgeniy Y. Zazhitskiy, 39, of North Highlands to 20 months in prison, according to a federal Department of Justice news release. Restitution will be set at a hearing Jan. 29.

According to court documents, before and during 2007, Vilchitsa and a business partner solicited funds from investors to buy residential properties, renovate them and flip them. The operation was successful before the financial crises, but when real estate values plummeted, the business was unable to sell its inventory of homes.

Vilchitsa and his partner allegedly coordinated the purchases of 24 of their company’s residential properties, although they knew the purchasing investors did not have the income or assets to support the loans for the properties, authorities said.

Loans were obtained for the investors through Zazhitskiy, a licensed real estate agent and broker who worked as a loan officer. Although Zazhitskiy had not interviewed the loan applicants, he knew their income and assets had been faked for purposes of the loan applications, authorities said. Nevertheless, he obtained loans for 23 of the 24 properties involved.

Zazhitskiy was ordered to begin serving his sentence Jan. 15, and Vilchitsa, on March 14.

The cases resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the FBI.