Bank fraud: Dallas area defendants plead guilty in $29-million scheme
DALLAS — Three defendants charged with various federal offense in a six-year bank fraud scheme causing $29 million in fraudulent funding have pleaded guilty to their roles, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Office.
On March 6, the lead defendant – 48-year-old Eddie Contreraz of Frisco, Texas – pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud.
Contreraz is facing a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison, a $1 million fine and restitution. His sentencing is scheduled for June 11.
Two of his co-defendants – 27-year-old Stephanie Loraine Contreraz and 53-year-old Abraham Valdez, both of Frisco, Texas – have each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
They are each facing up to 5 years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine and restitution.
All three defendants will remain on bond pending sentencing.
Later this month, three additional people charged in the same case are scheduled to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, the news release stated.
The seventh defendant, Kwanghee Anh, remains a fugitive with an outstanding arrest warrant.
According to the factual resume filed in the case:
From January 2011 through March 2016, Contreraz was the owner and operator of Preferred Marketing Group, Inc. (PMG), which also went by PMG Business Solutions.
The company helped its clients with credit repair and obtained funding from lenders in the form of loans, lines of credit and credit cards.
The majority of PMG’s clients were unable to obtain these funds on their own due to insufficient income or employment, or they weren't able to provide the required documents.
Around the beginning of 2011, Contreraz produced and used many fraudulent documents to obtain loan approvals.
Contreraz created consistently high-quality fraudulent documents that he knew banks and other lending institutions accepted as valid and genuine documents. He and his employees then electronically transmitted these fraudulent documents to lenders.
During the alleged time period, at least 95 percent of PMG’s clients obtained funding while using false and fictitious documents.
Contreraz normally met with the clients and reviewed the information in their loan applications.
Some clients did not have jobs, some did not have the necessary documents that banks required in the loan applications, and some did not have high enough income levels to qualify for a loan.
When a client had such issues that might prevent loan approval by the bank, Contreraz told these clients that their loan would not be approved unless the client was willing to submit false information to the bank.
The distorted information provided to the banks included inflated fake income figures; false representations that the loan applicant's position was the manager of a company; and inaccurate and fraudulent corroborating pay stubs, W-2 tax documents, or utility bills.
Contreraz caused PMG employees Stephanie Contreraz, Abraham Valdez, Bryce Armijo, and Elizabeth Flint to use false financial information when clients applied for loans and credit cards over the telephone and the internet.
These four co-defendants worked with clients to insure that the clients reported the agreed-upon false information.
They also walked clients through how to obtain the maximum number of loan approvals in a short period of time on the same day. The employees would take clients to meet with specific lender representatives that Contreraz already had established a relationship with and who agreed to help PMG clients.
Contreraz admitted that he caused all six of his co-defendant employees to assist borrowers fraudulently obtain at least 2,300 loans, credit lines or credit cards from at least 10 FDIC insured banks.
He also confessed to helping borrowers fraudulently get at least another 140 loans, credit lines or credit cards from three non-FDIC insured consumer lenders.
During this period, all seven defendants participated in this bank fraud scheme that resulted in the fraudulent funding of loans, credit lines or credit cards in the total amount of at least $29 million.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Fort Worth Division is investigating this fraud.
Article From:- https://www.timesrecordnews.com