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Monday, Jun 10 2013 06:46 PM

Couple pleads guilty in federal mortgage fraud case

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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN

A Bakersfield couple pleaded guilty Monday in a mortgage fraud scheme that prosecutors say cost lenders more that $6 million in losses.

In a Fresno federal court, Eric Ray Hernandez, 37, and Monica Marie Hernandez, 32, both pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. They are scheduled to be sentenced at 10 a.m. Nov. 4.

Each faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and five years of supervised release.

The Hernandezes were indicted in June 2010 in what prosecutors said was a scheme to provide bogus information -- false pay stubs, letters from tax accountants and bank statements -- to support home loan and refinance applications.

The couple worked together at Network Source Funding, a Bakersfield mortgage brokerage, between about October 2005 and August 2006, and then at New Millennium Lending from about August 2006 to May 2007. Eric Hernandez worked as a loan officer, while Monica processed loan transactions.

The case involved three co-defendants. One of them, Patricia King, pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud; she was sentenced to three years and one month in prison. Then other two, Evelyn Sanchez and Darling Montalvo, have pleaded not guilty; their trial is scheduled to start Aug. 13.

The case resulted from an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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