Crime - Sacto 911

Mortgage lending firm founder, loan officer plead guilty in fraud scheme

The founder of a Sacramento-based real estate and mortgage lending company and a loan officer with the firm have pleaded guilty in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Moctezuma Tovar, 46, of Sacramento and Sandra Hermosillo, 53, of Woodland pleaded guilty Monday to conspiring to commit fraud, according to a U.S. attorney’s office news release.

Court documents indicate that Tovar was the founder and president of Delta Homes and Lending Inc., which opened one office in 2003 and eventually had five offices in Sacramento and Woodland.

As the president of Delta Homes, Tovar managed the company’s day-to-day operations, and prepared and submitted residential home loan applications on behalf of the firm’s clients. Hermosillo was a loan officer at the Woodland office and also was responsible for submitting residential home loan applications for clients.

Between October 2004 and May 2007, Tovar and Hermosillo conspired with others to obtain home loans from mortgage lenders based upon false and fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents that falsely represented the borrowers’ assets, income, liabilities and debts and employment status, authorities said. They provided money to borrowers to inflate their bank account balances, and once the loans were secured, the borrowers returned the funds to the defendants.

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

Tovar and Hermosillo are to be sentenced Dec. 7 by senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb. Also scheduled for sentencing that day are co-defendants Manuel Herrera, 35, of Sacramento and Jun Michael Dirain, 42, of Antelope, who had already pleaded guilty in the case, authorities said.

Co-defendants and licensed real estate agents Jaime Mayorga, 36, and Ruben Rodriguez, 38, both of Sacramento, and Christian Parada Renteria, 39, of Woodland, a former loan officer, have a Sept. 22 trial date.