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Press Release

Three Sentences Handed Down in Mortgage Fraud Cases

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As part of the ongoing effort by U.S. Attorney’s Office to prosecute mortgage fraud, three defendants were sentenced today for their roles in separate mortgage fraud schemes, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

West Sacramento Man Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud (2:11-cr-353 MCE)

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Sean McClendon, 49, of Elk Grove, today to one year and eight months in prison. On October 18, 2012, McClendon pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his involvement in a Sacramento area mortgage fraud scheme with Anthony Salcedo and Anthony Williams. According to court documents, McClendon and Williams recruited straw buyers to purchase four properties owned by Salcedo or his associates using kickbacks, false financial information for the buyers, and payments outside of escrow. All properties involved were foreclosed by the lenders, resulting in losses of over $1 million. In June 2015, a jury found Salcedo guilty of four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2015. On January 29, 2015, Williams was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Marilee Miller are prosecuting the case.

Mortgage Broker Sentenced for False Statements on a Loan Application (2:13-cr-131 MCE)

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Valeri Kalyuzhnyy, 44, of Citrus Heights, to two years in prison. On June 25, 2015, Kalyuzhnyy pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a loan application. According to court documents, Kalyuzhnyy, while working as a mortgage broker, bought two homes using the credit information of a straw buyer. The loan applications that were used to secure the properties contained numerous false statements regarding the buyer’s intent to occupy the property, employer, occupation, and monthly income. In order to support the inflated monthly income listed on the loan application, fraudulent tax returns were submitted. On July 17, 2007, Kalyuzhnyy gave the straw buyer a check for $29,000.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan prosecuted the case.

San Joaquin County Man Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme (2:11-cr-468 TLN)

United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley sentenced Stephen Pirt, 37, of Mountain House, to two years and one month in prison for his participation in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme. According to evidence presented at the trial for co-defendant Erik Hermann Green, 33, of Roseville, Pirt and Green defrauded the New Century Mortgage Company by submitting false documentation about borrowers’ employment, income and assets, including fraudulent loan applications and other altered bank documents. On September 19, 2013, Stephen Pirt pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

Judge Nunley told Pirt, “You were an organizer and leader of the scheme, and you need to be punished for that.” The judge also explained the need for a proper deterrent effect.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Nunley on November 19, 2015. Green faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The actual sentence, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Anderson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh F. Sigal are prosecuting the case.

Updated November 6, 2015

Mortgage Fraud