Three Texas men from Rio Grande Valley were arrested this past week on federal wire fraud charges for their involvement in a San Antonio area mortgage fraud scheme, according to U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson with the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ).
The defendants, Guadalupe Artemio Gomez, 31, Luis Antonio Rodriguez, 36, and Rogelio Ramos Jr., 36 had devised a second chance home mortgage lending scheme targeting people who were unable to obtain traditional financing. They recruited San Antonio area realtors to feed potential home buyers to their companies such as T.G. and Wealth, Infinite Properties and Me In 3D.
In order to fool the Realtors they were working with, Gomez, Rodriguez and Ramos would send emails with fraudulent bank account information for their companies showing that they had millions of dollars in their accounts finance the purchase of houses.
The Realtors would then send their clients to the defendants who would offer the victims bogus second chance loans at an 8.5% interest rate with 20-year-terms and a 10% down payment to purchase the home of their choice.
According to the USDOJ, the buyers had allegedly given the defendants down payments on homes they had selected and entered into fraudulent purchase agreements. The victims were told that they would close on the properties within 45-60 days.
However, the closings never occurred and the down payments were never used towards the purchase of the homes. The defendants then shut down their business in August 2016 and the victims never received their money back.
The defendants all face approximately up to 30 years in federal prison and a possible $1 million fine.