Andrea Ramirez, a 47-year old woman who prosecutors accused of being the “organizer” of a phony loan modification firm, has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison.
One of Ramirez’ employees, Crystal Taiwana Buck, 40, of Long Beach, was also sentenced to five years in prison for convincing numerous victims to pay fees to 21st Century Services, Inc. for what were non-existent loan modifications.
“This fraudulent company purposely targeted homeowners who were extremely vulnerable because they were facing foreclosure,” said United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker in a statement. “Ramirez and her co-defendants made false promises to desperate homeowners, often took the last of their money and then abandoned them. Her contempt for her victims will put her in federal prison for nearly two decades.”
“As the ringleader in a scheme to dupe thousands of distressed homeowners out of their last dollar at the height of the financial crisis, Andrea Ramirez earned the next 18 years in federal prison, which she should use to reflect on her victims,” said Christy Goldsmith Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) in a statement.
United States District Judge Virginia A. Phillips also ordered Ramirez to pay $6,764,743 in restitution.
Below are sentences for the other defendants:
- Albert DiRoberto, 62, of Fullerton, who handled both sales and marketing – which included making a commercial for 21st Century – was sentenced to five years in prison.
- Yadira Garcia Padilla, 38, of Rancho Cucamonga – who, among other things, posted bogus positive reviews about 21st Century on the Internet – was sentenced to four years in prison.
- Michael Bruce Bates, of Moreno Valley, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison.
- Michael Lewis Parker, of Pomona, was sentenced to six years in prison.
- Catalina Deleon, of Glendora, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 14.
- Hamid Reza Shalviri, of Montebello, is scheduled to be sentenced on Thursday, December 10.
- Mindy Sue Holt, of San Bernardino, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
- Iris Melissa Pelayo, of Upland, was sentenced to four years in prison.
Read the original article in the Long Beach Post.