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Thursday, June 13, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

8 Charged in $15 Million Mortgage Frauds

SAN DIEGO (CN) - Federal prosecutors accused an Escondido real estate agent and eight other "mortgage industry professionals" of running "a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme that targeted vulnerable, low-income, immigrants in San Diego."

The 12-count indictment accuses Eric Elegado, 47, of Escondido, and his wife, employees and co-defendants of "multiple counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering, and criminal forfeiture," the U.S. Attorney's Office said in announcing the unsealing of the indictment.

Prosecutors claim the defendants conspired to get mortgage loans by falsifying loan documents. According to the indictment, Eric Elegado directed the mortgage loans to be processed through his wife, Charmagne Elegado, who was working at the subprime mortgage lender," according to the U.S. Attorney's statement. "In order to further the fraudulent scheme, the defendants allegedly created and caused others to create false financial records for the purpose of verifying income listed on the false loan applications, such as W-2s, bank statements, rental income statements, ownership records, and bank deposit documents."

Prosecutors say the ring induced lenders to make more than $50 million in mortgage loans, of which more than $15 million was lost.

Here are the defendants:

Charmagne Elegado, 47, of Escondido; Eric Elegado, 47, of Escondido; Theodore Cohen, 54, of San Diego; Minh Nguyen, 28, of San Marcos; Regidor Pacal, 51; Alexander V. Garcia, 38; Roman Macabulos, 38; Ramin Lotfi, 36; and Roderick Huerto, 34, all of San Diego.

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