Prison for man who swindled churches in $4.2 million mortgage fraud

by Ryan Smith24 Feb 2016
A California man who swindled churches into participating in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud has been sentenced to a year in prison.

Chester Peggese of Los Angeles had pleaded guilty to bank fraud and tax evasion charges, according to a report by

Peggese told Los Angeles-area churches that he was a consultant who could help them obtain mortgage loans or refinance existing loans from Broadway Federal Bank, according to the report. Between 2007 and 2009, he met with churches to obtain financial information for loan applications.

Unidentified co-conspirators then altered the information to make the churches seem more financially sound than they actually were, reported. Broadway Federal issued mortgages based on the fraudulent information, and Peggese was paid out of escrow on the loans. He also kicked back a portion of his payment to ex-bank employee Paul Ryan, who has pleaded guilty to one count of receiving bribes and is awaiting sentencing.

Peggese has been sentenced to one year in prison and five years of probation. He’s also been ordered to pay $4.2 million in restitution to Broadway Federal and $38,609 to the IRS, according to