Crime - Sacto 911

Last defendant sentenced in Sacramento, Chico-area mortgage fraud scheme

The last of 14 defendants to be sentenced in a mortgage fraud scheme carried out in the Sacramento and Chico areas was sentenced Monday in federal court in Sacramento.

Joshua Clymer, 28, of San Francisco was sentenced to two years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with the scheme, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release. Clymer previously pleaded guilty as part of a plea agreement.

According to court documents and evidence presented at the trial of co-defendant Leonard Williams, from late 2006 into 2008, Clymer and Williams conspired to carry out a loan-originating and property-flipping mortgage fraud scheme using the companies Diamond Hill Financial and Bay Area Real Estate Holdings. The two recruited under-qualified buyers, including family and friends, to purchase homes with promises of cash back, no money down and illusory equity in the homes.

Clymers and others assisted the home buyers in securing loans with fraudulent loan applications that contained lies about the buyers’ employment, income, assets, and intent to occupy the homes as a primary residence, authorities said. In most cases, the loan applications falsely stated that the buyers worked at Diamond Hill Financial, a company associated with Clymer and Williams. As a result, hundreds of thousands of dollars in home loans were issued. Clymer and Williams reaped profits ranging from $5,000 to more than $30,000 per transaction, with the two often splitting the proceeds, authorities said.

Others convicted and sentenced in this and related cases include Williams, 87 months; Garret Gililland, 94 months; Niche Fortune, 57 months; Kesha Haynie, 46 months; Eric Clawson, 37 months; Anthony Symmes, 35 months; Carlos Chamorro, 27 months; Shane Burreson, 23 months; Christopher M. Chiavola, 22 months; William E. Baker, 18 months; Nicole Magpusao, 535 days; Brandon Resendez, nine months; and Remy Heng, six months home detention. Twelve of the defendants pleaded guilty, including Clymer. Juries convicted the two defendants who went to trial, Haynie and Williams.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit.

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