Bergen County, N.J., Couple Convicted Of Bank Fraud, Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud, In Connection With Mortgage Scheme
NEWARK, N.J. — A husband and wife from Bergen County, N.J., were both convicted today of one count each of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Linda Yarleque, 44, and her husband, Fabio Moreno Vargas, 46, of Westwood, N.J., were convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court. The jury deliberated two hours before returning the guilty verdicts.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Yarleque and Moreno obtained 10 fraudulent loans over a period of three years. They falsified their employment and income, failed to disclose their debts and other properties that they owned, and lied about where they lived. They fraudulently obtained a total of $3.4 million in mortgages this way and personally pocketed approximately $269,000, through “cash out” refinancings that they directed to their own bank accounts. They then spent that money on vacations, cars, and to buy more properties.
The defendants made up a phony business where Moreno was supposedly employed (My Limousine). They then obtained a phone line in the name of My Limousine and had it forwarded to their personal cell phones. When mortgage lenders called to verify Moreno’s employment, the defendants lied, posing as fictitious employees, using names such as “Janet Alvarez” and “Casandra Sterling.”
Each count upon which the defendants were convicted is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for March 11, 2014.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford in Newark, with the investigation leading to today=s convictions. He also thanked IRS-Criminal Investigation for its role in the case.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Jamari Buxton of the general crimes unit and Rachael A. Honig, counsel to the U.S. Attorney.
Yarleque: Peter Willis Esq., of Jersey City, N.J.,
Moreno: Chester Keller Esq. and Carol Gillen Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defenders, Newark