Three Valley Men Charged in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
McALLEN, Texas – Three Rio Grande Valley men have been arrested on federal wire fraud charges involving a fraudulent mortgage lending scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson.
A criminal complaint was filed under seal Jan. 12, 2017, against Guadalupe Artemio Gomez, 31, Luis Antonio Rodriguez, 36, and Rogelio Ramos Jr., 36. Authorities arrested Gomez and Ramos the following day, at which time they made their initial appearances before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ignacio Torteya. Today, the case was unsealed in its entirety as Rodriguez, who was previously incarcerated on unrelated charges, was taken into federal custody. He made his initial appearance before Peter Ormsby this morning and ordered to remain in custody pending further criminal proceedings.
The charges allege they all operated a “second chance” financing business under the names of T.G. and Wealth, Infinite Properties and Me In 3D, focusing on individuals who were financially unable to apply for traditional home financing. The defendants allegedly offered these individuals financing at a rate of 8.5 percent interest on the principle for a 20-year-term if they could afford a 10 percent down payment on the house of their choice.
Gomez, Rodriguez and Ramos allegedly conducted business in the area of San Antonio by recruiting realtors to funnel prospective home buyers to Infinite Properties. According to the charges, part of the scheme involved sending fraudulent bank account information through email correspondence to the realtors in order to create the appearance that Infinite Properties had millions of dollars in its accounts to finance the purchase of houses. Based on these false accounts, realtors allegedly introduced home buyers in need of second chance financing to Infinite Properties.
The criminal complaint alleges buyers entered fraudulent purchase agreements for properties they selected. These buyers made down payments to Infinite Properties to be used toward the purchase of their intended properties and were told closings would occur within 45-60 days, according to the charges.
The charges allege, however, that closings did not occur and the payments were never used for the purchases of the properties. In August 2016, Infinite Properties allegedly ceased to do business and the victims never received their money back.
If convicted, the defendants all face up to up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million fine.
The FBI investigated the case along with police departments in McAllen, Mission and Edinburg. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert L. Guerra Jr. is prosecuting the case.
A criminal complaint is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence.
A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.