Crime - Sacto 911

Sacramentan gets seven years for mortgage fraud

A Sacramento man was sentenced to more than seven years in prison Monday after being convicted in a mortgage fraud case that covered Sacramento and Chico.

Leonard E. Williams, 52, was convicted last July of conspiracy and money laundering in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, said U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner..

Prosecutors said Williams recruited underqualified buyers, including friends and family, to buy houses. Williams helped them get loans by persuading them to lie about their income and jobs. In many cases, the loan applicants claimed they worked at a company controlled by Williams, Diamond Hill Financial.

A total of $2 million in loans were issued between 2006 and 2008, and most of the borrowers defaulted. Williams and an accomplice, Joshua Clymer, earned profits of between $5,000 and $30,000 per loan.

Clymer has pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges and is set to be sentenced Feb. 9.

Williams was sentenced to seven years and three months. U.S. District Judge William Shubb said one factor in the sentence was Williams’ conduct on the last day of trial. Williams started shouting at the jury about the case and ignored Shubb’s order to stop.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.