News and Press Releases

independence couple pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

February 7, 2012

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a husband and wife from Independence, Mo., pleaded guilty in federal court today to participating in a conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud.

Vavega Tialino, 61, and his wife, Toaono Tialino, 55, both of Independence, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Howard F. Sachs to the charge contained in a July 13, 2011, federal indictment.

Vavega and Toaono Tialino admitted that they engaged in fraudulent real estate transactions that involved three separate loans in January 2007. They made only a few payments on all three loans, defaulted, and eventually declared bankruptcy.

The Tialinos submitted false and fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents to lenders and to the title company in order to receive illegal kickbacks from the loan proceeds. The Tialinos received two loans, totaling $199,738, for the purchase of an Independence residence. In connection with the application for the two loans, the Tialinos submitted a false lease application and two fraudulent money orders, which falsely represented that their son was renting their existing residence.

The Tialinos also received a mortgage loan for their existing residence, which was a $103,098 Federal Housing Administration-insured, cash-out, refinance loan. In their application for the mortgage loan, they omitted as liabilities the two additional loans for $199,738 that they had closed on just four days earlier. They also falsely stated that they intended to occupy the residence as their primary residence.

The Tialinos used the proceeds of these mortgage loans to pay off their loan on a Ford Expedition ($14,193), to pay off their previous mortgage loan ($79,287) and to receive $4,440.

The indictment also contains a forfeiture allegation, which would require the Tialinos to forfeit to the government any property derived from the proceeds of the alleged violations, including a money judgment of $302,836.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel M. Nelson. It was investigated by U.S. HUD-Office of Inspector General and U.S. Secret Service.

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