Crime - Sacto 911

Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Has man been sentenced in Sacramento, Chico mortgage fraud scheme?

Q: What happened in the case of Leonard Williams, who was to have been sentenced for fraud in October?

Tony, Sacramento

A: Leonard E. Williams was convicted by a federal jury in Sacramento in July of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and two counts of money laundering.

He still awaits sentencing. According to federal court online records, an evidentiary hearing regarding sentencing has been continued to Jan. 26.

Evidence presented during a six-day trial indicated that from late 2006 into 2008, Williams conspired with others to carry out a mortgage fraud scheme in the Chico and Sacramento areas, using his companies Diamond Hill Financial and Bay Area Real Estate Holdings. The scheme resulted in issuance of more than $2 million in home loans, with most of the buyers eventually defaulting.

Williams and his co-conspirators assisted home buyers in securing loans with fraudulent applications that contained lies about the buyers’ employment, income, assets and intent to occupy the home as the primary residence. In most cases, at Williams’ suggestion, the loan applications falsely stated that the buyers worked at Diamond Hill Financial, and Williams confirmed the false information when lenders called to verify it, authorities said.

Federal authorities said Williams is the last of 14 defendants who have been convicted of mortgage fraud offenses in this and related cases.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

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