A married couple who worked in the loan industry received sentences of three years and five months for participating in a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud.
Eric Elegado and Charmagne Elegado pleaded guilty in October 2013 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a mortgage sche. The Elegados, both 49 and well-known in the Filipino community were very successful in San Diego real estate. Eric was on the flamboyant side, putting his face on bus benches and billboards and parking Bentleys, Ferraris and Rolls Royce cars he owned outside his real estate seminars.
According to the prosecution, the Elegado’s crimes occurred from December 2005 to February 2007, when Charmagne was working for New Century Mortgage. New Century Mortgage, based in Irvine, was considered by some experts to be the Ground Zero for the housing bubble, with its novel subprime loans, aka “liar’s loans”, where borrowers could get a mortgage on stated income, meaning no documentation was required. The prosecution had contended that not only had the couple procured loans for unqualified buyers, they also obtained some mortgages for the borrowers that were higher than the actual price of the homes. The excess was skimmed and then run through shell corporations.
The couple’s defense was that they were just trying to help the borrowers buy homes.
According to the FBI, the couple earned $3.5 million on over 100 fraudulent loan transactions and the losses to lenders amounted to approximately $10.4 million.
Read the original article in UT-San Diego.