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San Ramon Man Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Mortgage Fraud

Joel Blanford, 44, falsified documents to receive more than $1 million a year between 2003-05 from his employer.

After being convicted in September, a San Ramon man was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme on Monday, according to U.S Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner.

Joel Blanford, 44, was sentenced in Sacramento and will have a supervised release lasting three years after he is out of prison.

Blanford worked as a sales representative for Long Beach Mortgage, a wholesale subprime lender and former subsidiary of Washington Mutual.

From April 2003 to October 2005, according to evidence presented at trial, Blanford paid a loan coordinator in cash and checks to falsify documents, provide false verification of borrowers’ employment or professional licensing status, and turn a blind eye to fraudulent representations contained in loan applications and other documents.

As a result of the scheme, from 2003-05 Blanford received more than $1 million in commissions and other compensation a year before taxes from Long Beach Mortgage.

To help him with the scheme, he paid the load coordinator more than $50,000 in checks alone.

“This investigation exposed a sophisticated chain of fraud that started at the homebuyer level and extended all the way to banking insiders," Wagner said. "It is a lesson that those earning million-dollar paychecks are not exempt from significant criminal penalties.”

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