An individual called Joseph A. Gonzalez from Henderson, Nevada, pleaded guilty for his participation in a scheme to use fake information and simultaneous loan applications at multiple banks – known as “shot-gunning” – to obtain home equity lines of credit.
As stated in the documents filed in the case, from 2010 to 2018, Jorge Flores and Simon Curanaj, a real estate broker in New York, ran a mortgage fraud scheme in which they applied for over $9 million in home equity lines of credit from banks on residential properties in New Jersey and New York.
The property owner allowed Gonzalez to live in the house in exchange for management services. Gonzalez also recruited an individual with good credit to act as a straw buyer (Individual 1). Without the property owner’s knowledge, a “quitclaim” deed was made to transfer the property to Individual 1. The signatures on the deed were forged.
Gonzalez and Flores then applied for two home equity lines of credit from multiple banks using the Jersey City property as collateral in Individual 1’s name. The applications also contained false information concerning Individual 1’s income, which was higher than his actual income.
The victim banks eventually issued loans to Individual 1 for over $500,000. After the victim banks deposited money into Individual 1’s bank account, Individual 1 paid out almost all of it to Gonzalez, Flores, and others. Gonzalez used $43,000 of the money to buy a luxury car.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 10, 2021. Gonzalez is the sixth person to plead guilty as part of the scheme.