Nine Suspects Arrested and Charged in a $2.3 Million Mortgage Fraud
Between October 2007 and June 2009, Gerard Bueno, operating as Pres Mex, Inc., and Jesus Vega Jr., operating as JVJ, Inc., are accused of defrauding CitiMortage and MetLife Bank out of $2.3 million by way of a fraudulent mortgage loan scheme. Bueno and Vega Jr. obtained titles to six residential properties in Los Angeles County by various means. They then obtained loans against the properties in the names of straw buyers, two of which were identity theft victims, and in effect “sold” the properties to themselves at inflated prices that they themselves set. Bueno and Vega Jr. recruited friends, family members and acquaintances to act as straw buyers, provided stolen identities, provided false bank account verifications, provided false employment information, and notarized documents when signers were not present. Bueno and Vega Jr. split the profits from the fraudulent sales, and paid the other suspects for the aforementioned acts. All six fraudulently obtained loans that went into default.
On April 6, 2012, the suspects were charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles Superior Court case number BA394549. Warrants were subsequently issued for their arrests. The suspects are identified as follows:
Gerard A. Bueno, 35, from La Habra Heights
Jesus Vega Jr., 28, from Hacienda Heights
Andres Victoria, 26, from Albany, New York
Alejandro Valdelamar, 44, from Long Beach
Jose Carlos Henriquez, 42, from Lynwood
George H. Kent, 66, from La Mirada
Laura Garcia, 31, from Paramount
Beatriz Miranda, 56, from Hawaiian Gardens
Michael Palomares, 27, from Compton
The charges in this case include multiple counts of Grand Theft, Identity Theft, Forgery, and Procuring or Offering False or Forged Instruments. Suspect Valdelamar was arrested at his home by Long Beach Police Officers on April 12, 2012. Suspects Henriquez, Garcia, Miranda, Kent and Palomares were arrested at their homes by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies on April 12 and April 13, 2012. Suspects Bueno and Vega Jr. surrendered to the court and were taken into custody on April 17, 2012. Suspect Victoria was arrested in Albany, New York, by Albany Police Officers on April 18, 2012, and is awaiting extradition to California.
The investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Commercial Crimes Bureau Real Estate Fraud Team and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.
For further information contact:
Commercial Crimes Bureau
Detective Christopher Derry at 562- 233-8204
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