A man and woman from Atwater have been indicted in a federal mortgage fraud conspiracy case, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Thursday.
John Ballard, 55, and Judy Calderon Ballard, 54, were two of the four people named in an indictment charging them with conspiracy, wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with an alleged short-sale scheme, U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert said in a statement.
Sherry Herbert, 54, and Andrea Todd, 53, both of Fresno, also were indicted in the same case, according to documents in U.S. District Court.
Prosecutors said John and Judy Ballard were licensed real estate salespersons who owned a home on Rainbow Lane in Atwater.
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“When the couple defaulted on a loan on the property, they asked permission to short-sell the property to Herbert and Todd, but had no intention of actually transferring the property to them,” prosecutors said in the statement.
They allegedly used “a series of false and fraudulent representations” and won approval from banks for short-sale financing, according to authorities.
The case was investigated by the Merced County District Attorney’s Office and the FBI.
If convicted, each defendant faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million fine, according to prosecutors.
Herbert and Todd were expected to appear Thursday at the federal courthouse in Fresno. John and Judy Ballard are scheduled for arraignment Nov. 29.
Andrew Flier, who, according to court records is the attorney defending the Ballards, could not immediately be reached for comment. The Ballards also could not immediately be reached for comment Thursday.
Rob Parsons: 209-385-2482