An actor and a certified tax preparer have each pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a mortgage fraud scheme that allowed the actor, Tommy Lister, to acquire title to four homes by falsifying income and bank statements.
Lister, 54, who could not afford the homes and who unsurprisingly lost them to foreclosure, is alleged to have used the services of Arcelia Chavez, 48, who he stated supplied him with a false W-2, false pay stub and a false CPA statement so that he could get one of the mortgages and a HELOC (home equity line of credit). He admitted that in addition to misrepresenting his financial status to the lenders that he neglected to inform the lenders that he would be receiving kickbacks from the sellers after escrow closed.
The court documents charge that the scheme operated from November 2005 through June 2007. In addition to Tommy Lister and Arcelia Chavez, other individuals named included Sami Sager Sweiss, previously a Woodland Hills-based mortgage loan officer; Jason Patterson, a Long Beach real estate agent; J.R., once a manager of a Washington Mutual Bank (WaMu) branch in Woodland Hills; and Wanda Tenney, previously an escrow officer in the San Fernando Valley.
Sweiss pleaded guilty this July to one conspiracy count before United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer, allocuting that he conspired with Lister, Patterson, Tenney and Chavez to commit mortgage fraud. He is awaiting sentencing.