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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, November 9, 2017

Stockton Man Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for His Participatin in a Large-Scale Mortgage Fraud Scheme

SACRAMENTO, Calif. —Arthur Change Menefee, 46, of Stockton, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. to three years in prison and ordered to pay over $5 million in restitution, United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert announced.

According to court documents, Menefee was a licensed real estate agent who aided unqualified buyers in obtaining loans to purchase properties. Some of the properties were sold by co‑defendant Aleksandr Kovalev, who offered kickbacks to the buyers that were not disclosed to the lenders. Menefee assisted the buyers in preparing loan applications that included false information, and used fictitious companies he created to generate false information about the buyers’ employment and income to support the fraudulent loan applications. At least 23 properties were involved in Menefee’s mortgage fraud scheme, with substantial losses to the lenders.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Pickles is prosecuting the case.

To date, co-defendants Aleksandr Kovalev, Jannice Riddick, Florence Francisco, Adil Qayyum, Elsie Pamela Fuller, and Leona Yeargin have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Two other defendants, Valeriy Vasilevitsky, charged in United States v. Vasilevitsky, 2:12-cr-344 KJM, and Ruth Willis, charged in United States v. Willis, 2:13-cr-00228 MCE, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced with respect to their involvement in the scheme.

Topic(s): 
Mortgage Fraud
Press Release Number: 
2:13-cr-103 MCE
Updated November 9, 2017