According to federal authorities, David Crisp and Carl Cole, the high-flying real estate agents and mortgage brokers of Bakersfield, ran a “full-fledged mortgage fraud factory. Although Crisp and Cole lost their real estate licenses in 2008, it is not until now that they, some of their relatives and employees have been criminally charged with fraud, money laundering and conspiracy in a 56-count indictment.
Estimates by the FBI and prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys Office are that Crisp, Cole and Associates may have stolen more than $20 million, alleging that they and their business associates falsified loan documents, bought, sold and resold homes they purchased with inflated appraisals in as little as a few weeks.
Ten people have been arrested in the sweep: David Crisp, Jennifer Crisp (David’s wife), Carl Cole, Caleb Cole (Carl’s son) and employees Jayson Costa, Julie Farmer, Sneha Mohammadi, Mike Munoz, Robinson Nguyen and Jeriel Salinas.
David Crisp’s in-laws — Kevin and Leslie Sluga and Megan Balod have already accepted plea deals for fraud and aiding and abetting. It was Kevin Sluga, a former CPA, who falsified many of the loan documents submitted to Tower Lending, the mortgage firm owned by Crisp and Carl Cole. Christopher Stovall and Jerald Teixeira, who were loan officers, have also accepted pleas.
FBI Special Agent Manuel Alvarez noted that the alleged crimes, including mortgage fraud, are costly to taxpayers in the cases where the loans were guaranteed, as well as costly to people who purchased homes nearby based on the appraisals. *Note: as of this writing, no appraisers have been charged with appraisal fraud and no persons have been charged with escrow fraud.
Read the full article in the Bakersfield Californian.
Here is an article about how local real estate professionals feel about Crisp and Cole.