Armando Granillo of Huntington Beach, Calif., a former sales associate with Fannie Mae was named in a federal grand jury indictment that accuses him of taking kick-backs from a real estate broker in exchange for providing him with foreclosed properties to sell on behalf of the mortgage agency. Granillo was charged with three counts of “honest services” wire fraud for soliciting kick-backs while working for the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE). Granillo was arrested the morning of March 5, after he allegedly accepted an $11,200 payment from the real estate broker, who at the time was working with federal authorities. Granillo was freed on a $5,000 bond and is expected to be arraigned in United States District Court in Los Angeles.
Granillo, who worked in the Irvine, Calif. Fannie Mae office as a Real Estate-Owned (REO) Foreclosure Specialist, reviewed applications submitted by real estate brokers who wanted to list Fannie Mae foreclosure properties. Granillo had the authority to approve sale offers presented by the brokers. In late 2012, Granillo asked a real estate broker in Tucson to pay a percentage of the commissions the broker earned for selling Fannie Mae foreclosure properties. The broker brought the matter to the attention of federal law enforcement officials, and he began assisting in the investigation.
In subsequent conversations between Granillo and the broker, Granillo demanded 20 percent of the broker’s commissions. In February 2012, Granillo traveled from Orange County to the Phoenix area, where he met with the broker. During the recorded meeting, Granillo stated that the kickback arrangement was a “natural part of business.” Granillo then arranged to receive the $11,200 payment from the broker.