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Woman Faces Up to 30 Years in Prison for Mortgage Fraud

Wanda Coleman, formerly of Pauma Valley south of Temecula, faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty in a $20-million mortgage fraud scheme.

A former Pauma Valley woman pleaded guilty Wednesday in federal court in Portland, Ore., to mail fraud charges while orchestrating a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme. 

Wanda Coleman, 59, who now lives in Glenoma, Wash., admitted to using fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents to convince lenders to fund more than $20 million in loans on approximately three dozen properties in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties, according to Bruce Riordan, assistant United States Attorney Special Counsel to the U.S. Attorney Central District of California.

Coleman faces a statutory maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison when she is sentenced on Jan. 25, 2013, Riordan said, in a news release.

An FBI investigation led to the case being brought against Coleman by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Central District of California, Riordan said. The case was transferred to the District of Oregon, which is near Coleman’s new residence, for the entry of the guilty plea and sentencing, he said.

According to court documents, Coleman and several co-conspirators fraudulently obtained funds from financial institutions by making false statements on, and omitting material information from, loan applications submitted to purchase houses in the names of "straw buyers," Riordan wrote, in the news release.

"Coleman identified properties for sale across Southern California and offered to pay the sellers substantially more than their asking price, in return for the sellers’ agreement to refund the excess amount to Coleman or companies that she controlled," Riordan said.

Straw buyers were recruited by Coleman to submit fraudulent applications for loans to buy the houses, he said.

"Various participants in the scheme prepared fraudulent mortgage applications that contained false information regarding the buyers’ employment, income and assets, and then submitted the bogus applications to lenders.

"To corroborate the false claims, co-conspirators forged bank statements and prepared other fraudulent documents, which were submitted to lenders."       

Financial institutions funded loans totaling more than $20 million in relation to approximately 30 properties across Southern California as a result of scheme, Riordan wrote.

"The straw buyers ultimately defaulted on the loans, resulting in foreclosure of the properties and losses of more than $11 million to the lenders."

Brenda November 01, 2012 at 08:23 AM
Agree with this Gal Cann. There is NO ONE I believe who was "anyway" involved in banking, home loans, insurance, Government, that can be innocent imo. It was Country wide, not County, State even, Every single state, in the entire USA. If they had anything to do with showing houses, selling them, buying them, loaning money, doing appraisals, brokers, direct lenders, they all had their hands in the pot. I do NOT understand how this woman found these participants to do what she wanted in the first place and what they gained out of it. GMAC alone sold thousands of loans first to their other company Home Comings that might be a problem, then Homecomings sold them to Aurora Home Loans. When they did this it was to insure that no one was insured anymore for the this type of situationm when they were originally with GMAC. At each one of those selling of the loans down the ranks of GMAC Banks, each one started a whole new loan modification program with their customers, so 3 by the time it was sold to Aurora. IN doing so they each added on the same fees for lawyers, told the customers to NOT make the payments or they would go to their lawyer fee's and oh lord, I wont rattle anymore, but what a racket. Either put them all in jail, or leave the 59 yr old lady alone except to get all the money back.
Jessica November 01, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Everyone that had their hands in the Real Estate industry knew there that it was "borrowing time". When appraisers asked what values you needed for loans and the Realtors kept artificially adding value to the listing amounts. The house across the street sold for 365500 so you can ask for 380k. Refi and take the 30k out a buy a new car or have a family vacation, pay off your bills so you can run them up again. Incomes needed to support the payments so then they went stated income, no doc loans. Everything was up to the buyer to be honest that the loan could and would be paid back. People wanted the McMansion so they said what ever it took to get into the property. Eventually there was going to be a crash. Unfortunately those that worked the system yet again caused problems for the honest folks out there.
Brenda November 01, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Jessica spot on and I am not sure we will ever recover at least in my life time. I hope by my grandsons. Even now trying to buy a house is a fiasco. You have brokers, you have real estate people owning them, banks owning them, flippers owning them etc. etc. We have been trying to buy a ranch up in NO CAL and we have put in probably just over 20 offers in the last year on properties. Something always is fishy, like the so and so decided to wait, the bank sold it at auction the day before. Then we will see it back on the market and someone did actually buy it, and now is being put back on the market. It shows how much they bought it for and it had to be either an auction or some type of inside deal because our offers have been well over the asking prices, up to 60k over the asking price. Its some kind of real racket between all these investors, realtors, brokers, and I think the realtors hold the bids to give it to the person they want, or to buy it themselves, but something is going on. Would like to see us recover for my daughters to buys houses but not sure it will recover and get honest by then.
LiLi November 01, 2012 at 08:38 PM
To Jessica - I don't think it was the real estate agents artificially adding value, I believe it was the greedy home sellers. Home sellers are typically unrealistic & overvalue their home in any market. Back in 2004/2005 there was very little inventory available which created a perfect storm for bidding wars. No matter how many poorly finished, do-it-yourself projects homeowners have attempted or how terrible their location is, they always think their house is the best in the neighborhood & usually value it much higher than a professional appraiser or Realtor ever would. As a cash buyer I've seen it all.
On the right side November 02, 2012 at 02:02 AM
She was a damn crook and should be treated as one. This has nothing to do with the price of houses or realtors. Just a damn crook!!!

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