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Ex-loan officer indicted for wire fraud

Tucson man allegely made false statements to obtain $1.4M in home loans

A former loan officer and Tucson resident has been charged with fraud and making false statements on loan applications in a case involving $1.4 million in home loans, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Sergio Martinez, 35, was indicted last week on five counts, including bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, said Bill Solomon, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office, on Monday.

Martinez, who was arrested in April in Buffalo, N.Y., is accused of participating in a scheme to defraud a mortgage lender to obtain $1.4 million in loans to purchase a $1.75 million home, Solomon said.

Martinez, who was not listed as the loan applicant, allegedly submitted a loan application that contained false statements, including information on self-employment, inflated income, and falsely stating that the down payment for the home was not obtained through loans, Solomon said.

The indictment also alleges that a document was submitted to the lender that falsely stated the borrower would provide nearly $360,000 in cash to close the deal on the home. Martinez and the borrower allegedly received a separate loan to cover most of those costs, Solomon said.

After the property was financed, the home went into foreclosure for lack of payments, resulting in a significant loss to the lender, Solomon said.

A conviction for bank fraud, false statement to influence a financial institution, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud each carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1,000,000 fine, or both, Solomon said.

The investigation was was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service's Criminal Investigation Division and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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