FORMER BANK EMPLOYEE SENTENCED TO 15 MONTHS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR ROLE IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME
LOS ANGELES – A North Hollywood man was sentenced today to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme in which the schemers used stolen identities to “purchase” homes that were not for sale.
Venedie Roberto Valencia, 27, who worked at Bank of America at the time of the offense, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer. In addition to the prison term, Judge Fischer ordered Valencia to pay $51,688 in restitution.
Previously in this investigation, two of the Valencia’s co-conspirators were convicted and sentenced to prison. Felix Pichardo, 29, of Lancaster, was sentenced to eight years in federal prison in 2009 and Latrice Shaunte Borders, 31, of Long Beach, was sentenced to two years in federal prison in 2010 for their part in the scheme (see: http://www.justice.gov/usao/cac/pressroom/pr2009/144.html). According to court documents, Pichardo, a licensed real estate agent, and Borders participated in two separate fraudulent real estate sales transactions. Pichardo, using identities appropriated from other people, caused loan applications to be submitted to AmTrust without the property owner’s knowledge for real estate which was not for sale.
During today’s hearing, Judge Fischer said that Valencia was an “essential part” of the scheme and that Valencia abused his position at the bank. By pleading guilty, Valencia admitted that he forged a document related to non-existent bank accounts.
This case was investigated by the Identity Theft and Economic Crime (ITEC)
Task Force, which is sponsored by the Los Angeles Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service. Members of ITEC include Postal Inspectors, and agents and detectives from the United States Secret Service, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Los Angeles County Probation Department - Special Enforcement Operations Unit.
Release No. 11-120
Mortgage Settlement Information
Individuals who believe that they may have been victims of lending discrimination by Countrywide and have questions about the settlement may email the Department of Justice at email@example.com .