David Saks: Las Vegas Attorney Guilty in Scheme to Erase $800+k in Mortgage Debt

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Las Vegas Attorney Guilty in Scheme to Erase $800+k in Mortgage Debt

Las Vegas Defense Attorney Pleads Guilty in

Scheme to Erase More Than $800,000 in

Mortgage Debt


Transferred Duffel Bag with $290,000 in Cash to

His Brother-in-Law to Finance Sham Short Sale

U.S. Attorney’s Office February 02, 2015
  • Southern District of California (619) 557-5610

LAS VEGAS—

Luis J. Rojas,

a Las Vegas criminal defense attorney, pleaded guilty today in federal court to making false statements in connection with a fraudulent “short sale” of his property in Henderson Nevada.

As detailed in the plea agreement, Rojas purchased a single family home in 2006, for $935,430, which he financed by taking out two mortgages from Homecomings Financial Network, a GMAC company (“GMAC”). Rojas then lived in the home until February 2011, when he sent an offer to GMAC, proposing a “short sale” of the property for $288,000. Under the terms of the offer, Rojas would sell the property to an unrelated buyer; and, after the sale was complete, Rojas would be relieved of his obligation to repay the $935,430 in mortgages. GMAC agreed to the sale, on the condition that Rojas was not affiliated with the buyer.

What Rojas failed to disclose to GMAC was that his brother-in-law was acting as a “straw buyer,” and that Rojas was providing him with the money necessary to conduct the “sham” transaction. In reality, Rojas would be purchasing the property from himself. To effectuate the scheme, Rojas traveled to several bank branches in Las Vegas and Henderson Nevada, and withdrew a total of $290,000 in cash from his personal bank account and that of his wife. He then collected the bulk cash in a duffel bag and gave the bag to his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law then used the funds to complete the purchase of the house from Rojas for $289,822.08. Rojas, however, never moved out of the home, and one month later, Jacobs transferred title back to Rojas. The net result was that Rojas eliminated his $935,430 mortgage obligation, and now owned his home outright.

As further detailed in the plea agreement, Rojas also made false statements in connection with his earlier attempts to refinance his home. Specifically, Rojas attempted to renegotiate his mortgage, claiming that he could no longer afford his monthly payments. As part of the negotiation process, Rojas submitted a financial disclosure form, in which he hid the fact that he maintained a brokerage account with liquid assets totaling more than $134,000.

Rojas faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain or twice the pecuniary loss from the offense. Sentencing is scheduled for June 1 at 10 a.m. before U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan.

DEFENDANTS 14-CR-403-JCM-GWF

  • Luis J. Rojas
  • Age 38
  • Henderson, Nevada

CHARGES

Making a False Statement in a Matter Within the Jurisdiction of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1001.

AGENCY

Federal Bureau of Investigation

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Comment balloon 4 commentsDavid Saks • February 03 2015 08:10AM

Comments

Very simple. Glad he was caught and convicted. Lying, cheating and stealing should never be the answer.

Posted by Dale Bledsoe, Realtor in Tracy, California (Crown Key Realty) over 5 years ago

Prevarication is thought of as a virtue to some lawyers, Dale Bledsoe .

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

What a dumb criminal. He got caught when he transferred title back to himself. There are attorneys who think they are above the law. 

Posted by Pamela Seley, Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA (West Coast Realty Division) over 5 years ago

Indeed there are, Pamela. Too many of them.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 5 years ago

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