Another successful mortgage fraud prosecution by the prolific United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.
Leonard E. Williams, 52, was sentenced today to over seven years and three months in prison on charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of money laundering after being found guilty by the federal jury.
According to evidence presented by the prosecution, Williams conspired with his partner Joshua Clymer and others to carry out a mortgage fraud scheme in the Chico and Sacramento areas using his companies Diamond Hill Financial and Bay Area Real Estate Holdings. The two men recruited under-qualified friends, family and other buyers, including family and friends, to purchase homes with promises of cash back, no money down, and non-existent equity in the properties. They facilitated the purchases by fabricating the loan applications. In many of the instances, the loan applications fraudulently stated that the buyers worked at Diamond Hill Financial, and Leonard Williams verified the lies when the victims-lenders called to confirm it.
Since the buyers were unqualified, most defaulted, causing losses to the lending institutions of over $2 million.
Williams is the last of 14 defendants who have been convicted of mortgage fraud offenses in connection with this case. Others who already been convicted and/or pleaded guilty have already been sentenced. They include William E. Baker, Shane Burreson, Christopher M. Chiavola, Carlos Chamorro, Eric Clawson, Niche Fortune, Garret Gililland, Kesha Haynie, Remy Heng, Nicole Magpusao, Brandon Resendez, and Anthony Symmes.
The sentence was imposed by United States District Judge William B. Shubb. He was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher S. Hales and Assistant United States Attorney Audrey B. Hemesath.
This mortgage fraud was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office’s Major Crimes Unit.
Read the original article in the Imperial Valley News.