LAWFUEL.COM – Legal Announcements –
The fourth defendant in a mortgage fraud scheme that fraudulently collected more than $1 million in loan proceeds was convicted today on federal charges for acting as a “straw borrower” who posed as the purchaser of one of the properties.
Lisa Lievanos, 45, was convicted of five felony counts – conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements to special agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
As a result of today’s convictions, Lievanos faces up to 60 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on July 13 by United States District Judge Florence-Marie Cooper.
Three other defendants in this case previously pleaded guilty for their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme. They are:
Angela Cotton, 39, of Fontana, who ran a bogus title company and is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Cooper on June 15;
Terral Toole, 41, of Irvine (formerly of Lake Elsinore), who is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Cooper on June 1; and
Miles Davis, 46, of Glendale (formerly of Reseda), a loan processor, who was sentenced by Judge Cooper to three years of probation, including six months of home detention.
The evidence presented at Lievanos’ trial showed that Cotton found properties in Rancho Cucamonga and, with the assistance of real estate professionals and people such as Lievanos who agreed to sell their personal information, fraudulently “purchased” one of the properties and obtained a $635,000 loan.
A second loan involved a refinance of Lievanos’ residence, which netted the defendants $526,500. In the loan application, Lievanos included false employment information, income information, occupancy declarations, and rental agreements relating to her financial condition.
On the loan applications, the four defendants allegedly included false employment information, which included verifying the amounts of income of the straw buyer. As part of the scheme, Cotton established fraudulent escrow companies to complete the fraudulent sale transactions.
As a result of the fraudulent conduct related to the scheme, banks suffered losses of nearly $2 million.
This case is a result of an investigation by the FBI’s Southern California Mortgage (SCAM) Task Force.
CONTACT: Stephanie Yonekura McCaffery
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney
Assistant United States Attorney Beong-Soo Kim
Major Frauds Section