News and Press Releases

Manassas Man Sentenced to 34 Months for recruiting dozens of straw buyers in mortgage fraud scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2010

ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Fidelino Ferrufino, 50, of Manassas, Va., was sentenced today to 34 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.  Ferrufino was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,131,400.

            Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Col. David Rohrer, Fairfax County Chief of Police; and John G. Perren, Acting Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Judge Anthony Trenga.  A jury found Ferrufino guilty of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud on Aug. 4, 2010.

            According to court documents, Ferrufino was part of a wide-ranging mortgage fraud conspiracy, in which he conspired to secure fraudulent mortgage loans for “straw buyers” with good credit to purchase properties in northern Virginia for other individuals.  Ferrufino and his co-conspirators profited through the proceeds they received in the fraudulent loan transactions.  Ferrufino was paid by real estate agents a total of approximately $160,000 for the fraudulent transactions.  Ferrufino recruited approximately 25 straw buyers to use their names and credit to secure financing for the properties.  The straw buyers signed fraudulent loan applications in order to obtain much larger loans than they were qualified to receive.  The loan applications misstated, among other things, the straw buyers’ income, assets, employment, citizenship status, and intent to live in the property. 

            During the course of the conspiracy, Ferrufino and his co-conspirators engaged in more than 30 fraudulent property transactions in the Eastern District of Virginia and obtained more than $24 million in mortgage loans to purchase the properties.  The straw buyers defaulted on the bulk of the fraudulent loans, and the properties either went into foreclosure or were short-sold for sizeable losses.  As a result, more than twenty banks and lenders suffered losses in excess of $9 million – approximately $4 million of which is directly attributable to Ferrufino.

            A number of Ferrufino’s co-conspirators have pled guilty and been sentenced.  Ruben Rojas pled guilty on Dec. 22, 2009, for his role as a real estate agent in the conspiracy, and was sentenced to 60 months in prison.  Rojas’ sister, Lourdes Rojas Almanza, pled guilty on Dec. 17, 2009, for her role as a loan officer in the conspiracy, and was sentenced to 77 months in prison.  Litcia Linares pled guilty on Jan. 8, 2010, for her role as a real estate agent in the conspiracy and was sentenced to 27 months in prison.  One straw buyer, Juan De La Cruz Aguayo, pled guilty on March 18, 2010, and was sentenced to 14 months in prison. 

            This case was investigated by the Fairfax County Police Department and FBI’s Washington Field Office.  Assistant United States Attorneys Charles Connolly, Marla Tusk, and Uzo Asonye prosecuted the case on behalf of the United States.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/vae.  Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia at http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.uspci.uscourts.gov.

 

 

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