Four Sacramento-area residents were sentenced Thursday for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme.
A federal jury in July found Olga Palamarchuk, 45, of Rancho Cordova, Pyotr Bondaruk, 44, of Sacramento, Vera Zhiry, 35, of Sacramento and Peter Kuzmenko, 37, of West Sacramento guilty of conspiracy to commit mail fraud related to a mortgage fraud conspiracy. Palamarchuk and Bondaruk were also found guilty of making false statements to a financial institution and money laundering, and Zhiry was also convicted of money laundering, according to a U.S. Attorney’s office news release.
U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley sentenced Palamarchuk to five years and 10 months in prison; Bondaruk, to five years and 11 months in prison; and Zhiry to three years and one month in prison. Kuzmenko was sentenced to five years and 11 months in prison, two years of which are to be served consecutively to the 19-year sentence he received in another mortgage fraud scheme.
According to evidence presented during the three-week trial in Sacramento, Palamarchuk, a loan officer at Capital Mortgage Lending Inc., recruited Bondaruk to purchase two houses using 100 percent financing and to refinance and obtain a home equity line of credit on one of the houses. To qualify for the loans, Palamarchuk and Bondaruk submitted fraudulent loan applications to lenders, falsely stating Bondaruk’s employment, income, assets and intent to occupy the home as his primary residence.
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In addition, the defendants fraudulently inflated the value of the properties and diverted the excess funds to themselves. For example, authorities said, Kuzmenko received $32,378 in seller’s proceeds for landscaping and pool work his company, Pete’s Pool Service, purportedly performed on a house without a pool. Similarly, Zhiry received $100,000 to pay off a purported debt owed by the sellers that the sellers denied existed, and she provided $40,000 of that money to Palamarchuk.
The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.