Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramento real estate agent pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

A Sacramento real estate agent pleaded guilty in federal court today to his role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Manuel Herrera, 34, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud, according to a federal Department of Justice news release.

Court documents indicate that Herrera served as a loan officer and later a branch manager at Delta Homes and Lending Inc., a resl estate and mortgage lending ccompany. Between October 2004 and May 2007, Herrera and his co-defendants allegedly conspired to obtain home loans from mortgage lenders based on false and fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents that falsely represented the borrowers’ assets and income, liabilities and debts, employment status and citizenship status.

As part of the scheme, the defendants, including Herrera allegedly provided money to borrowers to fraudulently inflate the borrowers’ assets and bank account balances. Once the defendants had secured the loans, the borrowers returned the money the defendants had provided.

The aggregate sales price of homes involved in the conspiracy exceeded $10 million. As a result of the defendants’ alleged actions, mortgage lenders and others suffered losses of at least $4 million, authorities said.

Herrera is scheduled for a status conference concerning sentencing in front of Judge William B. Shubb on July 7.

His co-defendants, including Moctezuma Tovar, Ruben Rodriguez and Jaime Mayorga, all licensed real estate agents living in Sacramento, as well as former loan officers Sandra Hermosillo of Woodland and Christian Parada Renteria of Sacramento are scheduled for trial April 21, 2015. Another co-defendant, Jun Michael Dirain, pleaded guilty Feb. 3 and is to be sentenced July 7.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.