Crime - Sacto 911

Fair Oaks man sentenced to prison for mortgage fraud

A Fair Oaks man has been sentenced to five years and four months in prison for his participation in a mortgage fraud scheme.

A federal jury in Sacramento found Anthony Salcedo, 34, guilty of one count of conspiracy and four counts of mail fraud after a five-day trial in June. He was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr., according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

Court documents and evidence produced during the trial indicate that Salcedo worked in the real estate industry beginning in 2000 and was licensed as a real estate agent in 2004. He was licensed as a mortgage broker in 2006 and worked for two different lenders for five years.

When selling his personal properties in 2005 and 2006, Salcedo worked with mortgage broker Sean McClendon, 48, of Fair Oaks, and Anthony Williams, 47, previously of Memphis, Tenn., to find buyers. As an incentive to complete the sales transactions, Salcedo paid kickbacks to the buyers and to McClendon outside escrow.

Salcedo artificially inflated the value of his properties and paid the kickbacks out of the excess financing paid by the lenders, who were deceived as to the true value of the purchases they were underwriting, authorities said. The kickback payments were never disclosed to the lenders as part of the purchase and sale agreements, and the buyers’ income and assets were falsified to qualify for the loans.

In all, authorities said, approximately $2.6 million in fraudulently obtained loans were involved in the scheme, while Salcedo and his family got out from under their $1.6 million in mortgage debt and made more than $600,000 of profit when Salcdeo knew the real estate market was slowing down.

Salcedo was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals after the verdict and has been in the Sacramento County Jail awaiting sentencing.

According to the sentencing agreement on file with the court, after the trial, the government’s continuing investigation indicated that Salcedo might be hiding assets and manufacturing a drug problem in an effort to avoid restitution payments and influence the amount of time ultimately served in prison.

To resolve the issues, Salcedo agreed the court need not consider his purported drug problem, which might have qualified him for a drug treatment program and a reduction in his sentence, authorities said. He also agreed to repay the United States Federal Defenders for the costs of his defense, make a $300,000 payment toward a total restitution obligation of more than $700,000 and pay a $50,000 fine before sentencing.

Co-defendant McClendon pleaded guilty and was sentenced on Nov. 5 to 20 months in prison. He is expected to begin serving the sentence in January. Williams also pleaded guilty and is serving a sentence of two years and nine months in prison.

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

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

Related stories from Sacramento Bee