(KRON) – Four real estate professionals in the Bay Area were charged in a years-long mortgage fraud scheme. Tjoman Buditaslim (also identified as Joe Lim), Travis Holasek, Jose Alfonso Tellez, and Jose De Jesus Martinez were all indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in connection with a years-long mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Ismael J. Ramsey and Special Agent in Charge Herminia Neblina announced.
According to the indictment, between May 2019 and Aug. 23, 2023, Buditaslim, 51; Holasek, 51; Tellez, 26; and Martinez, 58, obtained more than $55 million in residential mortgage loans for homebuyers in Northern California by creating fraudulent documents that they submitted to residential mortgage origination companies. The fraudulent documents were used to qualify buyers for residential mortgage loans in connection with the fraud scheme.
The defendants profited from the alleged mortgage fraud scheme by taking loan origination commissions, real estate broker commission payments from escrow, and direct payments from potential buyers who wrote checks directly to the defendants for submitting loan applications to mortgage origination companies on their behalf.
According to the indictment, in one instance, the defendants allegedly created false divorce decree documents and child support checks purportedly payable to the potential buyer. The potential buyer has never been married to or even met the person who was identified as their ex-spouse. The indictment also states the defendants allegedly created false and fabricated bank statements showing falsely inflated bank account balances for potential buyers, submitted loan applications containing materially false information about buyers’ income to a mortgage origination company, and collected proceeds of home sales by directing payments from escrow to defendants and their associates.
The indictment also describes how the defendants also allegedly prepared and assisted in preparing false Uniform Residential Loan Applications for potential buyers. The URLAs contained false information about the loan applicants’ income and assets including altered bank statements, fabricated divorce documents, and fabricated child support checks.
As a result of the alleged fraud scheme, a mortgage origination company was required to repurchase loans, causing the company a loss of over $8 million.
Buditaslim was arrested on Aug. 23 in Daly City, California, according to a criminal complaint. Buditaslim made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on Aug. 24. Martinez was arrested on Nov. 7 and made his initial appearance in federal court the following day. Tellez made his initial appearance in federal court on Nov. 8. An initial appearance in federal court in San Francisco has not yet been scheduled for Holasek.