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4 Real Estate Scammers Going to Prison

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Four people who were convicted in a $55 million mortgage fraud scam were sentenced to a year or more in prison. Maria Echeverria, Ivan Gil, Laneka Chatton and Jonathan J. Garcia were among four of 19 defendants named in a 51-count indictment alleging wire fraud, mail fraud and criminal forfeiture.

All four made false statements in loan applications to trick lenders into giving home mortgages to unqualified borrowers, federal prosecutors said.

They also misled lenders by buying bogus 'CPA letters' from Aguilera's Bookkeeping and Income Tax service, of Vista, prosecutors said. The 19 defendants "fraudulently induced banks and lending institutions to make over $55 million in home loans, and received over $1.05 million in fees and commissions," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

Garcia, 28, of Carlsbad, was sentenced to 18 months in prison. He and Chatton, 36, of Oceanside, worked at Giron's Financial & Realty Group in Oceanside. Chatton was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Echeverria, 49, of Vista, was sentenced to a year and a day. She owned AmStar Funding, a mortgage company, in Vista.

Gil, 29, of Oceanside, was sentenced to a year in prison. He worked for Dream Homes and Loans, a mortgage and real estate company in Vista.


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