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Former Fannie REO Employee Indicted

REO kickbacks at issue

March 29, 2013

By Mortgage Daily staff

A former sales associate working at the Federal National Mortgage Association has been arrested over allegations that he accepted kickbacks from real estate brokers.

Three counts of "honest services" wire fraud are the charges outlined in a federal grand jury indictment announced this week by the Department of Justice.

The defendant, a former real-estate-owned foreclosure specialist at Fannie Mae, allegedly solicited kickbacks from real estate brokers.

Armando Granillo worked at a Fannie office in Irvine, Calif., reviewing applications submitted by real estate brokers who wanted to list Fannie's REOs. He was authorized to approve sale offers presented by the brokers.

Late last year, Granillo allegedly asked a real estate broker in Tucson, Ariz., for a share of the real estate commissions earned on Fannie's listings.

The broker, however, brought the matter to the attention of federal law enforcement officials and assisted in an investigation.

The government claims that Granillo subsequently demanded 20 percent of the realtor's commissions.

He traveled to Tucson in February 2012 to meet with the broker -- who recorded the meeting.

Granillo reportedly said that the scheme was a "natural part of business" and arranged to receive an $11,200 payment from the broker.

He accepted the $11,200 and was arrested on March 5.

The Huntington Beach, Calif., resident is free on a $5,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned next month in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

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