A Las Vegas federal jury found the pair guilty in December 2011 of orchestrating a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud system, which has been described as the largest scheme uncovered in Nevada. As a result of the scam, banks lost more than $52 million between 2003 and 2008 per official figures, with lending institutions approving more than $107 million in loans for 227 properties in the Las Vegas area – most of which ended up in foreclosure.
Lawyers representing the duo contended that federal agents performed a search of Mazzarella's business on unlawful grounds. The defense also said that the evidence used for the trial was inadmissible, since it included secretly copied documents that have been spirited away by former employees from Mazzarella's real estate firm.
Mazzarella and Grimm were not informed of the document theft prior to the conviction, the defense added. Prosecutors countered that the evidence for the pair’s guilt in committing premeditated fraud and other unlawful practices was overwhelming.
According to records, the judge who presided over the trial did not permit a hearing for Mazzarella and Grimm after the conviction, which got the attention and eventual approval of a San Francisco appeals panel.
Following a 2011 conviction, former real estate broker Eve Mazzarella and ex-spouse/former mortgage broker Steven Grimm stood for a hearing in front of a federal court on Wednesday in their latest bid for a new trial.