Crime - Sacto 911

Ex-loan officer pleads guilty in mortgage fraud scheme involving Roseville, Rocklin properties

A former Sacramento-area loan officer has pleaded guilty to his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that included properties in Placer County.

Alexander A. Romaniolis, 48, of Irvine, entered the plea today in federal court in Sacramento, according to a Department of Justice news release. A federal grand jury returned a three-count indictment in March 2013, charging him with mail fraud.

According to court documents, Romaniolis recruited five straw buyers to purchase eight California residential properties in Rocklin, Roseville and San Clemente. He assisted the straw buyers in providing false information to lenders about their employment, income, assets and their intent to occupy properties as primary residences.

In most cases, the straw buyers claimed to be executives of companies that Romaniolis created and controlled. He was responsible for originating more than $5 million in residential mortgage loans in the scheme, authorities said. All of the properties ended up in foreclosure, resulting in a total loss of more than $2 million.

Romaniolis is to be sentenced March 27.

The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI and the California Attorney General’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force.