California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Newport Man Resentenced for Defrauding HUD

A Newport Coast man who was sentenced in 2010 for mortgage fraud but appealed was resentenced to five years in prison and ordered to pay about $535,000 in restitution to lenders.

Lorenzo Espinoza, 46, originally pleaded guilty in 2006 in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles to conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, bankruptcy fraud, money laundering and tax evasion.  He had been accused of fraudulently obtaining mortgages and causing more the $2.7 million in losses to both HUD and commercial lenders.

Espinoza’s appeal before the appellate panel was unsuccessful, because the panel ordered a new sentence after finding the procedural error in U.S. District Judge Stephen V. Wilson’s calculations were not connected to specific facts in the case. Judge Wilson’s ruling rested on the defendant’s “extreme greed” to justify Espinoza’s prison term, the appelate court determined.

At the resentencing, Judge Wilson indicated his previous calculations had been “incomplete” and tied the new five-year sentence to Espinoza’s role as an “organizer or supervisor” of the mortgage fraud, the length of the fraud and the financial loss to the government.

“Whether he was the top guy or second to the top, he organized and directed others,” the judge said, adding that Espinoza “got the lion’s share of the profits.”

According to prosecutors, Espinoza admitted that he was the puppetmaster in the conspiracy to defraud HUD and the commercial lenders, after previously claiming his business “helped” people buy homes.

More about Lorenzo Espinoza can be found by click on this link for the posting in April 2010 in the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

Read the original article in the Fountain Valley Patch.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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