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Three Men Involved in Central Coast Mortgage Fraud Scheme Sentenced to Prison and Ordered to Pay $2.4 Million in Restitution

U.S. Attorney’s Office December 17, 2012
  • Central District of California (213) 894-2434

LOS ANGELES—Three men who participated in a complex mortgage fraud scheme operated out of Santa Maria, California, were sentenced today to federal prison terms and ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution to various lenders that suffered losses as a result of having funded loans procured through fraud.

Brian Armet, 36, of Santa Margarita, California, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison after pleading guilty in July 2011 to conspiring to defraud lenders by preparing loans packages that contained false information about prospective borrowers’ employment and assets.

Rigoberto Hernandez, 37, of Santa Maria, was sentenced to eight months in prison, and Julio Tamayo, 42, who also resides of Santa Maria, was sentenced to six months in prison. After being indicted one year ago, Hernandez and Tamayo pleaded guilty earlier this year to mortgage fraud charges.

The three men were sentenced by United States District Judge John F. Walter, who ordered the defendants to pay $2,412,294 in restitution to four lending victims.

The fraudulent mortgage fraud scheme operated through Custom House Home Loans (CHHL), a Santa Maria real estate mortgage company that Armet started in early 2006.

Armet was a licensed mortgage broker and the main loan officer at CHHL, where he prepared and submitted loan application packages. Hernandez and Tamayo worked at CHHL and helped prepare loans applications by obtaining information from clients.

In instances where the information was insufficient to ensure that a client would qualify for a loan, Armet, Tamayo, and Hernandez arranged with employers in the Santa Maria area to verify that they employed the applicant.

Armet included the false and fraudulent employment information in loan applications that were submitted to lenders, including Homecoming Financial, Freddie Mac, Bank of America, and Carrington Mortgage Company.

 Lenders relied on these fraudulent loan applications that contained false information to fund loans. As a result of this fraud, approximately 19 loans went into default, causing lenders to suffer approximately $2.4 million in losses.

The case against Armet, Tamayo, and Hernandez is the result of an investigation by the Santa Maria Resident Agency of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

source: FBI

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 4 commentsDavid Saks • December 18 2012 11:30AM


Sorry to hear about their troubles, but our industry is better off witouth lenders like these.

Posted by Melvin White, The Upper Marlboro and Clinton Home Specialist! (Bennett Realty Solutions) over 7 years ago

It might be safe to assume, in the current state of lending, that there are more mortgage brokers and their associates in prison than there are drug dealers, Melvin.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

At least 2 of those men were doing more than "assisting" with forms.  They were selling real estate.  One was on the MLS Committee of our association.  I am just sick to think they were REALTORS®, and selling homes to people.  What is worse, the California Department of Real Estate has NOTHING on the state public licensing records for these men.  We all have to put our licenses on all forms of advertising, including our business cards, so the public can look us up and be sure we are trustworthy.  Yet Rigo Hernandez and Julio Tomayo are convicted of fraud, and there is nothing on the record that indicates they have done a single thing wrong.  As president (twice) of our local association, I am only now finding out about these crimes.  It is sure kept under wraps! 

Just wanted to clarify that they did a lot more than assist Brian Armet in completing paper work.

Posted by D'Ann Bartley over 7 years ago

Thank you for your comment, Ms. Bartley.

Your association should begin researching the membership roster for unlicensed activity in all of it's ugly forms.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 7 years ago

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