Dallas County Community Action Committee, Inc. Vice President Indicted on 31 Counts of Mail Fraud, Wire Fraud, Bank Fraud and Aggravated ID Theft
Defendant Allegedly Sought Out and Defrauded Numerous Homeowners Seeking Mortgage Loan and Foreclosure Prevention Assistance
DALLAS — Special agents with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), along with postal inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), arrested Francisco Javier Gonzalez, a/k/a “Javier Gonzalez,” Monday morning at his home in Duncanville, Texas, on a federal indictment, returned last week by a grand jury in Dallas, and just unsealed, which charges Gonzalez with 21 counts of mail, wire and bank fraud and aggravated identity theft stemming from his work at the Dallas County Community Action Committee, Inc. (DCCAC). The announcement was made today by U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.
Gonzalez, 44, made his initial appearance in federal court yesterday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul D. Stickney, who ordered him detained pending trial.
Specifically, the indictment charges Gonzalez with five counts of mail fraud, six counts of wire fraud, eight counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.
The DCCAC was a non-profit entity, accredited by HUD between October 1990 and mid- February 2016, to provide housing counseling. It was created in 1965 by the Dallas Commissioners Court to support the efforts of the Johnson administration to combat poverty. DCCAC was located on East Jefferson Boulevard in the Oak Cliff area of Dallas. Gonzalez served as DCCAC’s Vice President and one of the directors. Gonzalez also leased space in the DCCAC offices for another entity, known as Residential Counseling FJ LLC.
The indictment alleges that through his work at DCCAC, Gonzalez defrauded numerous homeowners under the guise that he was assisting them with mortgage assistance. Instead, Gonzalez falsified paperwork, stole these homeowners’ mortgage payments, and extracted large payments from these homeowners in a claimed, but untrue, effort to unsuccessfully save their homes from foreclosure. As a result of his fraud, these homeowners were defrauded of tens of thousands of dollars and many lost their homes; HUD also suffered a loss of approximately $659,859.00
Gonzalez, according to the indictment, specifically sought out victims who were facing financial difficulty and who had contacted the DCCAC seeking mortgage loan and foreclosure prevention assistance. He also identified victims facing such financial distress by subscribing to the Foreclosure Listing Service, a/k/a Roddy List, which offers listings of foreclosure and pre-foreclosure homes, by county, through a review of public records. Once identified, Gonzalez would meet with these victims in the DCCAC offices and in the victims’ homes. He would explain a plan to reduce the victim’s mortgage payment and to prevent foreclosure; the plan often included a loan modification application.
In many instances, Gonzalez would prepare and submit a Making Home Affordable Request for Mortgage Assistance modification application, pay stubs, Hardship Affidavits, and verifications of employment in an attempt to obtain the loan modification for these victims. These documents often contained information that had been falsified by Gonzalez and were otherwise incomplete. Banks would often deny these applications because they were incomplete.
On some occasions, the indictment alleges, Gonzales told victims to not communicate with the banks as that would prevent him from effectively obtaining the loan modification. He would tell these victims to stop making their mortgage payments to the bank and instead make the payments directly to him so that he could forward the funds to the bank. Sometimes, he instructed the victim to make a large lump sum payment directly to him to stave off foreclosure, and he also often required a lump sum payment for his own services. On almost all occasions, Gonzalez did not submit this money paid to him by the victims to the banks as he had promised, but instead used the money for his own personal expenses.
As a result of the failure to make mortgage payments and incomplete applications submitted to modify loans, banks would often begin the foreclosure process. In some instances, Gonzalez would then mail a Real Estate Settlement Procedure Act (RESPA) Qualified Written Request to the bank in an effort to delay the foreclosure and extract additional funds from the victim. Gonzalez also instructed some victims to file for bankruptcy in an effort to avoid foreclosure.
On some occasions, when a victim provided Gonzalez with a money order already made out to the bank, Gonzalez would alter it to make it payable to himself.
An indictment is an accusation by a federal grand jury, and a defendant is entitled to the presumption of innocence unless proven guilty. If convicted, however, each mail fraud count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. Each wire fraud count and each bank fraud count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years and a $1 million fine. Each aggravated identify theft count carries a mandatory two years and a $250,000 fine.
HUD Office of Inspector General, FHFA Office of Inspector General, and the USPIS are investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl is in charge of the prosecution.
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