Three charged in $2 million mortgage fraud scheme involving Modesto, other properties

03/15/2013 6:52 AM

03/15/2013 5:16 PM

Three people face charges in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved a Modesto property, among others.

A federal grand jury returned an indictment charging Surjit Singh, 66, of Dublin; his son, Rajeshwar Singh, 38, of Pleasanton; and Anita Sharma, 51, of Gilroy, with mail fraud, bank fraud, and false statements on a loan and credit application, the United States Attorney’s office said.

The indictment alleges that Surjit Singh recruited people with good credit to act as straw buyers for homes owned by his family members and associates. Rajeshwar Singh, a real estate agent, allegedly submitted loan applications for the straw buyers, one of whom was Anita Sharma.

The Singhs allegedly prepared and submitted applications to lenders that falsely stated the straw buyers’ income, employment, liabilities, and intent to occupy the homes as their primary residences.

According to the indictment, the defendants were responsible for the origination of more than $2.1 million in residential mortgage loans on properties in Modesto, Elk Grove, Sacramento and Stockton.

Banks foreclosed on all four properties, resulting in a total loss of more than $1.2 million, the U.S. Attorney’s office said. If convicted, the defendants face a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

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