Four Bay Area real estate professionals have been charged in a years-long mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in over $55 million in residential mortgages. The individuals named in the indictment are Tjoman Buditaslim, Travis Holasek, Jose Alfonso Tellez, and Jose De Jesus Martinez. They are accused of conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft by submitting fraudulent loan applications to residential mortgage origination companies. The defendants allegedly profited from the scheme by taking commissions and direct payments from potential buyers. The indictment outlines specific details of the fraud, including the creation of false documents such as divorce decrees and fabricated bank statements. If convicted, each defendant faces significant prison time and fines. The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Department of Justice with the assistance of multiple agencies.
Four Bay Area Real Estate Professionals Charged In Years-Long Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Overview and Charges
Four Bay Area real estate professionals have been charged in a extensive mortgage fraud scheme that spanned over a number of years. The individuals, identified as Tjoman Buditaslim, Travis Holasek, Jose Alfonso Tellez, and Jose De Jesus Martinez, are alleged to have prepared and submitted fraudulent loan applications, resulting in more than $55 million in residential mortgages. The charges include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.
The indictment reveals the intricate details of the mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated by the defendants. Between May 2019 and August 23, 2023, the defendants obtained over $55 million in residential mortgage loans by creating fraudulent documents, which they submitted to residential mortgage origination companies. These fraudulent documents were used to qualify buyers for residential mortgage loans as part of the scheme. The defendants profited from the fraud by receiving loan origination commissions, real estate broker commission payments, and direct payments from potential buyers who wrote checks directly to the defendants for submitting loan applications on their behalf.
The indictment outlines the methods used by the defendants to carry out the scheme. They assisted potential buyers in locating properties for purchase, created false divorce decree documents and child support checks, fabricated bank statements showing inflated account balances, submitted loan applications with false income information, and collected proceeds from home sales through payments directed from escrow.
Losses and Impacted Party
As a result of the fraud scheme, Mortgage Origination Company 1, as identified in the indictment, suffered losses of approximately $8,162,515.82. The company was required to repurchase loans that had been sold to a federally-chartered home mortgage purchaser, causing significant financial harm.
Arrests and Appearances
Tjoman Buditaslim was arrested on August 23, 2023, in Daly City, California, following a criminal complaint. He made his initial appearance in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on August 24, 2023. Jose De Jesus Martinez was arrested on November 7, 2023, and made his initial appearance in federal court on November 8, 2023. Jose Alfonso Tellez also made his initial appearance in federal court on November 8, 2023. An initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco has not yet been scheduled for Travis Holasek.
Charges and Potential Sentences
Each defendant in the case is facing multiple charges. These include conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each violation of wire fraud, along with a mandatory two-year prison sentence for each violation of aggravated identity theft. However, the court will consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and relevant statutes in determining the final sentence.
Prosecutors and Investigators
The case is being handled by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christiaan Highsmith and Emily Dahlke, with the assistance of Aarian Beiti. The investigation involved the cooperation of several agencies, including the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, and the California Department of Justice.
In addition to this case, charges have been filed against three construction planning firm executives for bribing employees of the San Francisco Department of Building Inspection. An engineer has also been indicted for bombing energy facilities in California. Furthermore, two former San Francisco Department of Building Inspection engineers have been charged with participating in an honest services fraud conspiracy.
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In conclusion, the charges against the four Bay Area real estate professionals highlight the severity of the alleged mortgage fraud scheme. The detailed indictment sheds light on the methods used and the losses suffered by the impacted party. The arrests and potential sentences demonstrate the government’s commitment to combatting financial fraud. Prosecutors and investigators have worked diligently to bring these charges and ensure a fair legal process. It is essential for individuals to stay informed and connected through official channels to receive the most accurate and up-to-date information regarding this case and other related matters.