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Rosita Vilchez, who was a fugitive in Lima, Peru, until she was extradited to the United States in June 2015, has been sentenced to 66 months in prison for leading a wide-ranging mortgage fraud conspiracy that targeted hundreds of victims in the northern Virginia Hispanic community. Vilchez was also ordered to serve a five-year term of supervised release after her prison term. A forfeiture money judgment of more than $5 million was previously entered against Vilchez.
The mortgage fraud scheme, which operated between August 2005 and August 2007, generated nearly $7.4 million in fraudulent proceeds and caused losses of more than $15 million to lenders, most of which were federally-insured.
Vilchez, who was described in court as the kingpin of the conspiracy, pleaded guilty on Aug. 18, 2015. According to court documents, Vilchez operated a real estate firm (Vilchez & Associates), a title insurance company (Pino Title), and the branch of a loan brokerage business (Mount Vernon Capital Corporation) in Manassas, Va., all of which she used to carry out the fraud scheme. Vilchez and her co-conspirators submitted fraudulent loan documents that falsified their real estate clients’ income, employment, and assets so that they could obtain loans to buy property through Vilchez & Associates, which received commissions of as much as six percent of the selling price of every home.
The Vilchez conspiracy targeted Hispanic clients who were not proficient in spoken or written English, and the borrowers often were unable to read their loan documents and were unaware of the false statements submitted to the lenders on their behalf. According to court filings, the fraudulent loan applications made it possible for the borrowers to qualify for loans they could not afford to repay. Most of these borrowers later lost their homes to foreclosure. To date, 13 defendants have been convicted in connection with this conspiracy. Vilchez’s brother, Armando Pino, who was also charged in the conspiracy, is set for trial on Feb. 8, 2016.