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LAREDO, Texas – A 38-year-old man was sentenced for his role in a complex mortgage fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Edmundo De La Torre pleaded guilty April 19 to orchestrating a mortgage fraud scheme in which he altered hundreds of documents to get otherwise unqualified buyers’ approval for government-backed mortgages.
U.S. District Judge Marina Marmalejo has now ordered De La Torre to serve 36 months in federal prison to be immediately followed by three years of supervised release. De La Torre was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1.17 million. In handing down the sentence, Judge Marmolejo noted the sophistication and persistence of De La Torre’s crime and remarked on the profound effects it has on potential first-time and low-income homebuyers seeking homes, and instead ending up entangled in legal and finances issues.
From 2018 to 2020, De La Torre admitted he was working as a salesman for a Laredo area homebuilder. De La Torre used his position to attempt to get potential customers approved for Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)-backed mortgages. He forged various documents, including financial statements, bank statements, paycheck stubs and letters of reference for at least 38 otherwise unqualified homebuyers.
De La Torre then submitted these fake and forged documents to a Laredo area bank on behalf of the potential homebuyers. He admitted he was receiving a commission for each sale and personally profiting over $200,000 from the scheme. In addition, more than three dozen known loans in this scheme ultimately defaulted or had to be restructured, costing HUD roughly $971,310.10 at the time of his plea in April.
De La Torre was permitted to remain on bond and voluntarily surrender to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
HUD - Office of Inspector General conducted the investigation with assistance from the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Carter prosecuted the case.