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Loan Originator Sentenced to Prison

Committed mortgage fraud on condominiums

Aug. 13, 2018

By Mortgage Daily staff

A Florida loan originator is headed to prison after admitting to federal authorities that he helped in the sale of condominiums by fooling mortgage lenders with bogus documents.

Daniel Cardenas worked as a loan officer at a Tampa, Florida, branch of Transcontinental Lending Group. His time at the firm included the period from October 2007 to May 2008.

During that period at the Deerfield Beach, Florida-based mortgage company, Cardenas was helping to finance buyers of the The Preserve at Temple Terrace condominiums.

But, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida,
Cardenas was part of a conspiracy to deceive lenders into financing condominiums for unqualified buyers.

In order to attract buyers to the 392-unit project, Cardenas and his co-conspirators allegedly offered cash payments before or after closing -- something the lenders in the transactions had no idea about.

"The conspirators made material false statements on loan documents -- such as purchase and sale agreements, loan applications and HUD-1 settlement statements -- to induce mortgage lenders to approve loans for otherwise unqualified borrowers," the statement said. "The conspirators used several entities to conceal the payments to buyers from the mortgage lenders."

Cardenas prepared, signed and certified fraudulent loan applications in order to induce financial institutions to provide funding for the unqualified buyers, the Justice Department alleges.  Occupancy, income and source of funds, as well as assets, were among the misrepresented items.

The government claims that Cardenas' role in the conspiracy caused around $710,000 in losses at home lenders. Among the likely victims were Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac based on the role of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, in the investigation.

Cardenas pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud on April 24.

He was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven to 18 months in federal prison.

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