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SoCal Spouses Face Time for Mortgage Fraud

SAN DIEGO (CN) - An Escondido real estate agent and his wife face up to 20 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiring to commit $17 million mortgage frauds.

Eric and Charmagne Elegado pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring with seven co-defendants to defraud mortgage lenders from 2005 to 2007, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Eric Elegado owned and operated real estate and mortgage brokerage businesses in San Diego and his wife was an account executive at nonparty New Century Mortgage.

"Eric and Charmagne Elegado admitted that they conspired with co-defendants Theodore Cohen, Minh Nguyen, Regidor Pacal, Alexander V. Garcia, Roman Macabulos, Ramin Lotfi, and Roderick Huerto, to engage in a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders in order to obtain money and property by obtaining mortgage loans, primarily through New Century Mortgage, for unqualified buyers by falsifying and causing others to falsify the employment and salary information on the loan applications and other documents," the U.S attorney said in the statement. "Eric and Charmagne Elegado admitted that these co-defendants were paid approximately $500, by either check or cash, for allowing companies that they owned to be fraudulently listed on the borrower's loan documents. In addition, Eric and Charmagne Elegado admitted that they agreed with other coconspirators working at Eric Elegado's mortgage companies to create fraudulent documents, such as W-2s, pay stubs, and bank statements, which were submitted to mortgage lenders, including to Charmagne Elegado while she was working at New Century Mortgage. Eric and Charmagne Elegado admitted that they made substantial profits from their roles in the scheme to defraud mortgage lenders."

The other defendants have also pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit mortgage fraud.

The Elegados, both 47, will be sentenced on Feb. 28, 2014.

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