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Tuesday, June 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Attorney & His Mom|Are Going to Prison

SAN DIEGO (CN) - An Orange County attorney was sentenced to 37 months in prison for an $8 million mortgage fraud scam and his 67-year-old mother, a real estate broker, got 33 months for it, federal prosecutors said.

Stephen Kenneth Chrysler, 46, and his mother, Aida Agusti Castro, a Carlsbad real estate broker, were convicted of multiple counts of wire fraud in April. They have been in jail since the jury found them guilty, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement Tuesday. They also were ordered to forfeit more than $350,000 in ill-gotten gains.

Their scam involved 16 homes in Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos, Lakeside and Menifee. Prosecutors said Chrysler and his mom created 30 false loan applications and fraudulent supporting documents to get more than $8 million in mortgages for unqualified borrowers. Chrysler's company, SKC Real Estate, got about $350,000 in loan fees and commissions from the scams, prosecutors said.

The mom and son targeted Spanish-speakers and concealed the frauds from them, the U.S. attorney said, citing evidence from the trial.

"Several borrowers testified that the defendants told them to simply sign the loan documents, and did not translate these documents into Spanish," according to the U.S. attorney. "As the borrowers were not financially qualified to obtain these loans, many of the mortgages went into default and the properties have been foreclosed upon.

"Court documents indicate that the fraudulent loans brokered by the defendants resulted in over $800,000 in losses, mostly resulting from foreclosures."

A restitution hearing on Dec. 10 will attempt to determine how much the mom and son owe to which lenders.

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