Ringleader of Va. mortgage fraud gets 5 years

09/05/2010 11:03
If you want to understand what went wrong in cheap air jordan shoesthe housing market, the case of Ruben Rojas is an important piece of the puzzle. Rojas, 30, a real estate agent from Vienna, Va., was sentenced to wholesale air jordan shoesfive years in prison Friday in U.S. District Court for his role as the ringleader in a massive mortgage fraud scheme that ran amok in the booming Washington-area real estate market four years ago. When the fraud was uncovered last year, he was one ofnike air jordan shoes 20 people arrested. The scheme drew in family members, loan officers, other real estate agents, and straw buyers who falsified information about their finances to qualify loans. In still other cases, innocent home purchasers were pushed into mortgages they should not have received, and were left holding the bag when banks foreclosed. The indictment against Rojas spells out some 25 properties worth $17.6 million that were purchased with fraudulent mortgages. All but two ended up in foreclosure and lenders collectively lost more than $9 million. And prosecutor Marla Tusk said at air jordan shoesFriday's sentencing hearing that the government brought formal charges for only a small fraction of the fraud that Rojas and his cohorts committed. When police arrested Rojas last year, they estimated that he and others fraudulently purchased as many as 200 properties collectively worth $100 million. Rojas, a permanent legal resident who will likely be deported to air jordanBolivia after serving his sentence, personally profited by $2 million, Tusk said. The fraudulent sales occurred between 2004 and 2007, when the northern Virginia real estate market was one of the hottest in the country. When the housing bubble began to collapse in 2008, the mortgage money that once flowed so freely dried up and investigators began tracking down cases of fraud. In the Eastern District of jordan shoesVirginia alone, which includes northern Virginia, prosecutors have brought more than 50 criminal cases since the beginning of last year, according to U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride, resulting in losses conservatively estimated at $100 million. The cases have been a top priority for the office, because the vast sums of money that flowed through the market made real estate an attractive target for thieves. "We've allocated our resources to go where they can get the biggest impact," MacBride said in a phone interview, noting that while his office continues to investigate mortgage fraud it has also started to pour resources into investigating potential fraud involving the bank bailouts and the federal stimulus legislation, programs that involve the exchange of hundreds of billions of dollars. "In real estate, there was a ready-made market involving lots ofnike air jordan money, and some people took advantage of that," MacBride said. The Rojas case, as big as it was, was not the largest mortgage fraud case prosecuted by MacBride's office. Last year a judge sentenced well-known Bollywood film producer Vijay Taneja of Fairfax, Va., to seven years in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in losses of $33 million. Creditors alleged that Taneja used the mortgage scheme to finance one of his films — "Aap Kaa Surroor: The Moviee - The Real Luv Story," a major Bollywood release. As for Rojas, "he was putting people in Monclerhomes they couldn't afford. We've all seen the results of this type of behavior in the housing market," Tusk said. "This is the type of behavior that led to the downfall in the housing market." U.S. District Judge Gerald Bruce Lee agreed, imposing a five-year sentence that was even longer than Moncler outlet what prosecutors sought. "Homeownership is part ofmoncler clothing the American dream. What you did was destroy that dream," Lee said. The sentence prompted no visible reaction from Rojas, but his defense attorney, Jerome Aquino, shook his head in disbelief.Adidas TS Creator Player Basketball shoes Adidas T-MAC 10 low air Shox 2301 Large Hook air Shox 309 NZ Mesh air Shox 309 NZ PU