Ringleader Pleads Guilty in $7.4 Million Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy That Targeted Northern Virginia Hispanic Community
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – Rosita Vilchez, 39, a fugitive in Lima, Peru, until she was extradited to the United States in June 2015, pleaded guilty yesterday to leading a wide-ranging mortgage fraud conspiracy that targeted hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community. The mortgage fraud scheme, which operated between August 2005 and August 2007, generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and caused losses of more than $15 million to lenders, most of which were federally insured.
Vilchez pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud affecting a financial institution. According to court documents, Vilchez operated a real estate firm (Vilchez & Associates), a title insurance company (Pino Title), and the branch of a loan brokerage business (Mount Vernon Capital Corporation) in Manassas, Va., all of which she used to carry out the fraud scheme. Vilchez and her co-conspirators submitted fraudulent loan documents that falsified their real estate clients’ income, employment, and assets so that they could obtain loans to buy property through Vilchez & Associates, which received commissions of as much as six percent of the selling price of every home.
The Vilchez conspiracy targeted Hispanic clients who were not proficient in spoken or written English, and the borrowers often were unable to read their loan documents and were unaware of the false statements submitted to the lenders on their behalf. According to court filings, the fraudulent loan applications made it possible for the borrowers to qualify for loans they could not afford to repay. Most of these borrowers later lost their homes to foreclosure.
To date, thirteen defendants have been convicted in connection with this conspiracy. Vilchez faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison when she is sentenced on December 4, 2015. The maximum statutory sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as the sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the court based on the advisory Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; Andrew G. McCabe, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and Matthew Alessandrino, FDIC Assistant Inspector General for Investigations, made the announcement after the plea was accepted by U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady.
This case was investigated by the FBI’s Washington Field Office and the FDIC’s Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorneys James P. Gillis and Julia K. Martinez are prosecuting the case.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:12-cr-394.