The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia sentenced Ruben Rojas, a Vienna, Va., resident, to five years in prison for leading a mortgage fraud scheme. Rojas, a permanent resident from Bolivia, will then be turned over to immigration authorities for deportation proceedings, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.
The scheme caused more than $9 million in losses, according to the release.
Rojas, along with multiple family members and other members of the “conspiracy” who are also awaiting sentencing, engaged in more than 30 fraudulent property transactions in the Eastern District of Virginia area, the release said. They recruited and paid several "straw buyers," people with good credit, to sign fraudulent applications to obtain much larger loans then they were qualified to receive. To back up the false information on the applications, Rojas obtained fake bank statements, pay stubs and W-2s.
Most of the loans have defaulted.
"Ruben Rojas was motivated by one thing – greed," said Neil MacBride, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, in the release. "Nearly every home in this scheme is now in foreclosure, causing scores of homeowners to see big drops in their home equity and banks to lose millions."
Rojas, who pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud on Dec. 22, 2009, is also required to pay $9.5 million in restitution and was also sentenced to five years of supervised release following his time in prison.