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L.A.-Area Managers of Foreclosure Rescue Companies Convicted for Roles in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

WASHINGTON – A federal jury found two Los Angeles-area managers of foreclosure rescue companies guilty Dec. 13 for their roles in a foreclosure rescue scheme.

Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Assistant Director in Charge Paul D. Delacourt of the FBI’s Los Angeles Division, Special Agent in Charge R. Damon Rowe of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations Rene Febles of the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG), and Sheriff Jim McDonnell of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department made the announcement.

Jamie Matsuba, 33, and her father, Thomas Matsuba, 67, both of Chatsworth, were convicted after a one-week trial of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements to federally insured banks and committing identity theft. In addition, both defendants were convicted of one count of making false statements to federally insured banks.

Sentencing has been scheduled for May 14, 2018 at 10 a.m., before U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner, who presided over the trial.

According to evidence presented at trial, from January 2005 to August 2014, Jamie Matsuba, Thomas Matsuba and others engaged in a scheme to defraud financially distressed homeowners by offering to prevent foreclosure on their properties through short sales. Instead, the conspirators rented out the properties to third parties, did not pay the mortgages on the properties, and submitted false and fraudulent documents to mortgage lenders and servicers to delay foreclosure.

The evidence further established that the conspirators obtained mortgages in the names of stolen identities. In addition, the defendants used additional tactics, including filing bankruptcy in the names of distressed homeowners without their knowledge and fabricating liens on the distressed properties, the evidence showed.

Three other defendants have been charged in this matter. Defendant Dorothy Matsuba, 66, of Chatsworth, who is the mother of Jamie Matsuba and wife of Thomas Matsuba, and her daughter, Jane Matsuba-Garcia, 41, of Camarillo, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Defendant Young Park, of Los Angeles, is a fugitive. In addition, in related cases, Jason Hong, 36, of Chatsworth and Ryu Goeku, 47, of Canoga Park, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

This case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-CI, FHFA-OIG and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. Trial Attorney Niall M. O’Donnell, Senior Litigation Counsel David A. Bybee and Trial Attorney Jennifer L. Farer of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case. Senior Trial Attorney Nicholas Acker previously worked on the investigation.

Individuals who believe that they may be a victim in this case should visit the Fraud Section’s Victim Witness website for more information.

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