6 Californians convicted in mortgage scam

by Ryan Smith11 May 2015
Six Californians who served as straw buyers in a mortgage fraud scheme were convicted of wire fraud last week in Sacrameto.

Irina Markevich, Anatoliy Markevich, and Marina Pukhan were each convicted of two counts of wire fraud. Daniil Markevich, his wife Svetlana, and Alex Markevich were each convicted of one count, according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.

The defendants all served as straw buyers for homes in the Sacrameto area, the Bee reported. Prosecutors say that between February 2007 and March 2008, each defendant obtained homes through loan applications and other documents containing false information about their income, assets and intent to occupy the homes. The defendants claimed on their loan applications that they made anywhere from $190,000 to $426,000 per year, but tax returns show they only made from $3,000 to $22,000 in 2007, according to the Bee.

The proceeds of the scheme came from inflated purchase prices and payments for construction work that never took place, the Bee reported. For acting as straw buyers, the defendants collectively received more than $700,000, according to prosecutors.

According to prosecutors, the six defendants obtained more that $5 million in loan payments for six properties, then made only three to six payments each before letting the loans default. All six properties were foreclosed on within about a year.
All six defendants will be sentenced in August.
 
 

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