Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Chesapeake Man Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Philip Villasis, 41, of Chesapeake, Virginia, was sentenced today to 33 months in prison followed by 24 months of supervised release for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme. Villasis also will be required to pay over $216,000 in restitution to his victims.

Neil H. MacBride, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and John Boles, Supervisory Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, made the announcement after sentencing by United States District Senior Judge Robert G. Doumar. Villasis previously pled guilty on March 13, 2012.

According to court documents, from November 2006 until February 2011, Villasis engaged in a foreclosure rescue scheme that defrauded homeowners and mortgage lenders. Villasis promised homeowners that he could save them from foreclosure by arranging a sale of their homes to co-conspirator, Ray D. Gata, and other straw borrowers. The homeowners were promised that they could remain in their homes after the sale, pay rent, and Villasis would resell the homes back to them once they were more financially secure. Villasis and Gata profited from this scheme by taking all of the proceeds from the home sales. They completed the scheme by executing false closing documents that showed the proceeds of the sale going back to the homeowners when, in fact, the proceeds were going to Villasis, Gata, and the other straw borrowers. The homeowners received nothing from the sale of their homes while Villasis, Gata, and others received in excess of $170,000. In almost every case, Villasis required the homeowners to pay more in rent to cover a larger mortgage, and ultimately evicted these homeowners from their homes.

This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Melissa E. O’Boyle is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.

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