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Thursday, July 18, 2024 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Fannie Mae Salesman Indicted

LOS ANGELES (CN) - A Fannie Mae salesman took kickbacks from a mortgage broker to give him foreclosed property to sell on behalf of the agency, a federal grand jury said in an indictment.

Armando Granillo, 44, of Huntington Beach, was charged Tuesday with three counts of honest services wire fraud for soliciting kickbacks while working as a sales associate for Fannie Mae, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Granillo was arrested on March 5 after taking an $11,200 kickback from the broker, who was working as a federal snitch, the U.S. attorney said in the statement. He is free on $5,000 bond awaiting arraignment.

The U.S. attorney said in the statement: "Granillo, who worked in the Irvine Fannie Mae office as a Real Estate Owned Foreclosure Specialist, reviewed applications submitted by real estate brokers who wanted to list Fannie Mae foreclosure properties. Granillo had the authority to approve sale offers presented by the brokers. In late 2012, Granillo asked a real estate broker in Tucson to pay a percentage of the commissions the broker earned for selling Fannie Mae foreclosure properties. The broker brought the matter to the attention of federal law enforcement officials, and he began assisting in the investigation.

"In subsequent conversations between Granillo and the broker, Granillo demanded 20 percent of the broker's commissions. In February 2012, Granillo traveled from Orange County to the Phoenix area, where he met with the broker. During the recorded meeting, Granillo stated that the kickback arrangement was a 'natural part of business.' Granillo then arranged to receive the $11,200 payment from the broker."

If convicted, Granillo faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud.

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