SACRAMENTO - Two Stockton residents have been indicted on mortgage and mail fraud charges by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Lillian Marquez, 38, and Michael Keatts, 56, are real estate agents who operated Colonial Home and Business Services in Stockton from February 2006 through at least August 2012.
According to court documents, federal prosecutors allege Marquez and Keatts helped provide false information to lenders that claimed their clients were employees of businesses the defendants operated. An investigation determined the clients were not employees of the businesses and their income was much less than claimed to lenders. The clients' paycheck and tax information was fabricated by Marquez and Keatts, prosecutors charge.
Additionally, the defendants are accused of short-sale fraud, according to the indictment. Marquez and Keatts helped clients in default on their mortgages to arrange short sales on their properties but allegedly then sold properties to straw buyers without the lender's knowledge.
The original buyers were able to remain in the properties with new loans that lenders didn't know had been approved to the original buyers.
Marquez and Keatts were arrested Wednesday morning and scheduled to be arraigned in federal court in Sacramento Wednesday afternoon on one count of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and nine counts of mail fraud each.
U.S. Attorney spokesperson Lauren Horwood said that Marquez and Keatts, if convicted, each face a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.