California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Two Crisp & Cole Defendants Plead Guilty in Bakersfield Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy

Two more defendants from the $30 million mortgage fraud case that took place in Bakersfield from January 2004 to September 2007 have pleaded guilty.

Michael Angelo Munoz, 34, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud relating to his participation.

Munoz’ co-defendant Jayson Peter Costa, 40, of Bakersfield, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud.

Principal Carl Cole pleaded guilty to multiple charges earlier this month, in a long-standing case that was prosecuted by the office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner. The business entities were Crisp, Cole & Associates, aka Crisp & Cole Real Estate, and Tower Lending, an related mortgage brokerage.

The defendants used straw buyers to purchase properties at inflated values, receiving the loan money from mortgage loan companies and federally insured financial institutions. The loans were 100% financed and much of the loan application documentation was false and fraudulent. Court documents stated that while the properties were held in the names of the straw buyers, they were controlled by the defendants.

To date, I have not heard of prosecutors pursuing any of the straw buyers for their roles in facilitating the fraud. Crime still pays for some, or so it seems.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

You can read many previous postings about the Crisp and Cole case in earlier editions of the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

© Copyright 2007-2018 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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