Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and Barry R. Grissom, U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas, have announced that Eduardo Garcia Sabag, a Mexican national residing in Wichita, Kan., was sentenced for one count of making false bank entries, reports, and transactions for using a Social Security Number that was not his own to obtain a mortgage loan modification through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), the TARP-funded housing support program.
U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren presided over the hearing, which took place in federal court in Wichita. Sabag was arrested on June 26, 2014, and remained in federal custody until sentencing. On Sept. 26, Sabag was sentenced to time served—approximately 92 days in federal prison—and was remanded to the custody of the U.S. Marshals. As part of Sabag’s plea agreement, entered on Aug. 11, 2014, Sabag agreed not to challenge his removal from the U.S. to Mexico in any way.
“Sabag knowingly provided false information to obtain funds made available by the federal government to struggling homeowners through HAMP,” said Romero. “Sabag defrauded the United States and TARP recipient Bank of America by taking advantage of HAMP at the expense of American taxpayers. Those who defraud taxpayers’ TARP investments will be brought to justice by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners.”
According to court documents, in 2002, Sabag contracted for the purchase of a mortgage from TARP recipient Bank of America for the purchase of a residential property in Wichita by using a Social Security Number that was not his own. In August 2010, Sabag applied for and received a mortgage modification on that property from Bank of America through HAMP by fraudulently using that Social Security Number.
Contrary to Sabag’s certification that all information submitted on the HAMP application was truthful and his acknowledgment that knowingly submitting false information on the application may be a violation of federal law, Sabag, who is not a U.S. citizen and is ineligible for the assignment of a Social Security Number, fraudulently used the Social Security Number on the HAMP application to obtain the mortgage modification.