Phony home loans in Modesto and elsewhere net long prison terms

Three people who fraudulently obtained $9.3 million in mortgage loans involving homes in Modesto, Patterson, Lathrop and elsewhere received multiyear federal prison sentences on Friday.

Surjit Singh, 72, of Dublin and his son, Rajeshwar Singh, 44, of Pleasanton each were sentenced to 11 years and three months, and Anita Sharma, 56, of Gilroy received a term of three years, 10 months for their roles in the mortgage fraud, federal authorities announced. All were convicted a year ago after a seven-day trial in federal court.

Father and son were ordered to pay fines of $2 million and $1 million, respectively, and each must forfeit more than $1 million more for restitution and other payment.

Surjit Singh recruited people with good credit to act as straw buyers for homes owned by his family members and associates, and his son, a real estate agent, submitted loan applications with false information to obtain money that would not have been granted otherwise, said the FBI and federal prosecutors.

All of the homes later were sold for losses in short sales, or lost to foreclosure.

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