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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, July 26, 2019

Vallejo Man Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Multimillion Dollar Mortgage and Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Scheme

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — U.S. District Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. sentenced Zalathiel Aguila, 46, of Vallejo, to four years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud, U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott announced.

According to court documents, between September 2004 and February 2008, Aguila and co-conspirators Sergio Roman Barrientos and Omar Anabo operated Capital Access LLC, in Vallejo, a company that preyed on homeowners nearing foreclosure. The defendants convinced homeowners to sign over the title to their homes to Capital Access and then spent any equity those homeowners still had, which was then used for operational expenses of the scheme and personal expenses of Aguila and his co-conspirators.

The defendants also used straw buyers to obtain home loans under false pretenses and defraud federally insured financial institutions out of millions of dollars. Vulnerable homeowners across California lost their homes and savings as a result of the scheme, and lenders lost an estimated $10.47 million from the fraud.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew M. Yelovich prosecuted the case.

Aguila remains out of custody pending his surrendering for service of his sentence on Oct. 25. Barrientos was sentenced on Nov. 2, 2018, to 14 years in prison for his role in the scheme, and Anabo (charged elsewhere) is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 16.

Topic(s): 
Mortgage Fraud
Press Release Number: 
2:16-cr-046 GEB
Updated July 26, 2019