Jonathan Mendoza owned and operated a mortgage company called MC Financial.
“He probably opened with the intention of being legitimate to provide people with home loans back in the heyday of mortgages when banks were willing to lend to almost anybody,” says Jeremy Leder, US Postal Inspector.
At some point, Mendoza took a different path and began targeting vulnerable applicants.
“He frequently took advantage of Hispanic families that didn`t speak English,” says Leder.
He would take prospective buyers` personal information and tell them he would help them buy a home.
“Buying the house under their name and submitting fraudulent documents to the banks in order to inflate the sale price of the home,” says Leder.
Essentially banks would pay Mendoza more than the actual sale price for the home and he would pocket the extra money.
“The victims in this case didn`t know what kind of deal they were going into and they were stuck with this house under their name and the banks would go after them for foreclosure and basically ruin their credit, almost for the rest of their lives,” says Leder.
More than 50 mortgages and $3 million dollars in losses were involved in this scam.
“He would advertise on the radio that he could help people with mortgages and he would find these families that needed money but didn`t understand the mortgage process,” says Leder.
If victims tried to question Mendoza on his numbers or paperwork.
“He would threaten them with violence or turning them in for deportation purposes,” Leder.
Here is some simple advice:
“If a loan officer, or a friend, an associate come to you and say they want to use your name on a mortgage loan it’s bad deal - don`t do it - in fact its mortgage fraud - it`s illegal,” says Leder.
Jonathan Mendoza along with three co-conspirators were convicted in this case. They faced conspiracy, bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud charges and were sentenced to 4 years in prison.