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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

May 7, 2012


Former Loan Officer and Resident of Tucson Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

TUCSON—Last week, a five-count indictment was unsealed. The indictment, which was returned by a federal grand jury on March 29, 2012, charges former loan officer Sergio Martinez, 35, of Tucson, with bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Martinez was arrested on the indictment last month in Buffalo, New York.

The indictment alleges that Martinez participated in a scheme to defraud a financial institution in order to obtain financing. Although Martinez was not the listed loan applicant, he allegedly caused to be submitted a loan application that contained material false statements including: (1) a false representation that the loan applicant was self-employed; (2) a falsely inflated income; and (3) a false representation that no part of the down payment was borrowed. The indictment further alleges that another document submitted to the lender falsely represented that the borrower would provide $359,982.38 in cash to close the deal when, in fact, the borrower and Martinez received a separate loan that was used to provide most of that cash. These documents were allegedly provided to obtain $1.4 million in loans to purchase a $1.75 million home. After the financing was used to purchase the property, the home went into foreclosure due to lack of payments. The foreclosure resulted in a significant loss to the lender.

An indictment is simply the method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

A conviction for bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud each carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both. In determining the actual sentence, Judge Collins will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. Judge Collins, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Internal Revenue Servic-Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona, Tucson.


Source: United States Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona


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