McALLEN, Texas – Three men have been ordered to prison
following their convictions related to a “second chance” mortgage lending
scheme, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Abe Martinez. A federal jury convicted
Luis Antonio Rodriguez, 37, of Mission, and Rogelio Ramos Jr., 37, of Pharr, of
conspiracy to commit wire fraud late Friday, May 26, following a seven-day-trial
and approximately nine hours of deliberation. Also sentenced today was another
co-conspirator - Guadalupe Artemio Gomez, 32, of Mission – who had pleaded
guilty prior to trial.
Today, U.S. District Judge Randy Crane ordered Rodriguez to
serve a total of 13 years in federal prison, while Ramos received a 90-month
term of imprisonment. Gomez received a four-year sentence. At the hearing, the
court heard from all three defendants as well as numerous victims who provided
testimony that described the substantial harm they and their families suffered
as a result of the fraud. The three men were further ordered to serve five
years of supervised release and ordered to pay $1,858, 997.75 in restitution to
the victims of the scheme.
All three were accused of operating a “second chance”
financing business under the names of T.G. and Wealth, Infinite Properties and
Me In 3D, focusing on individuals who were financially unable to apply for traditional
home financing. The investigation revealed Gomez, Rodriguez and Ramos conducted
business in McAllen, Mission, Edinburg, Houston and San Antonio by hiring
recruiters to funnel prospective home buyers to Infinite Properties. The
homebuyers then gave 10 percent of the purchase price as a down payment to
During trial, the jury heard from victims, law enforcement
and an FBI forensic accountant who testified that instead of using the down
payments as intended, the money was used for personal expenses, trips to Las
Vegas and to purchase other real estate.
Gomez testified at trial against Rodriguez and Ramos stating
the two men received more than $1 million in the mortgage scheme in 2016.
The defense claimed they had no intent to defraud the
victims because they had attempted to get a $10 million loan. The jury was not
convinced and found both men guilty as charged.
Previously released on bond, the three men were taken into
custody following the sentencing today where they will remain pending transfer
to a U.S. Bureau of Prisons facility to be determined in the near future.
The FBI, Texas Department of Insurance and police
departments in McAllen, Mission and Edinburg conducted the investigation.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Robert L. Guerra Jr. and Andrew
Swartz prosecuted the case.