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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Idaho

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 17, 2014

Third Person Pleads Guilty In HUD Mortgage Fraud Case

Defendant’s Mother and Former Husband Sentenced Last Year
for Their Roles in the Scheme

POCATELLO – U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson announced that Sarah Kate Henecke, 35, also known as Alessandra Valencia Toscanelli, of Las Vegas, Nevada, pleaded guilty today to making a false statement on a residential loan application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Henecke was arrested in Nevada on December 11, 2013. She appeared today before U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge at the federal courthouse in Pocatello. Sentencing is set for June 9, 2014.

A federal grand jury in Boise indicted Henecke on November 13, 2013. She was charged with one misdemeanor count of making a false statement on a residential loan application to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) on a guaranteed loan. She admitted to misrepresenting that she had employment income of $2,400 per month, when in fact she was not employed.

Darin Henecke, 37, of Pocatello, Idaho, and Sarah Henecke’s mother, Karen DeWall Shaw, 60, of Chubbuck, Idaho, pleaded guilty last year to a misdemeanor charge of making a false statement. They were sentenced on September 25, 2013, to five years of probation and each ordered to pay $42,905 in restitution. According to the plea agreement filed in the case, on March 13, 2009, Darin Henecke obtained a residential loan to finance the purchase of a residence in Eagle, Idaho. The loan was funded based in part on the false statement allegedly made by Sarah Henecke. Shortly after the loan was funded, it went into default and foreclosure, causing HUD to sustain a loss. When interviewed by investigators, Darin Henecke admitted that he knew false employment information was submitted to obtain the loan. Shaw admitted that she assisted in the fraud by providing false employment information in order for the borrowers to qualify for the loan.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG).

Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF) which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys' offices and state and local partners, it's the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov.

Updated December 15, 2014