Union Hispana Defrauds Multiple Virginia Banks

This just in! ANOTHER person thought it would be a GREAT and SUPER SMART idea to defraud a bank … and it WASN’T! When will people learn?

Multiple Virginia banks were defrauded almost $3.4 million by Osvaldo Mercado for submitting fraudulent loans.

Mercado was indicted on conspiracy, six counts of bank fraud, two counts of mail fraud, and two counts of fraud in connection with identification documents. If convicted, he faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison on each bank fraud count, five years on each mail fraud count, and 15 years on each identification document fraud count.

According to the indictment, Mercado operated a tax preparation business, Union Hispana, based out of Northern Virginia. Beginning in 2004, Mercado allegedly began helping clients of complicit realtors secure personal mortgage loans by creating fraudulent tax letters stating that the borrowers had self-employment income and owned their own businesses.

In fact, the borrowers often had low-wage jobs and could not afford the homes or qualify for the loans. As part of the scheme, Mercado’s company also prepared fraudulent tax returns knowing that they were never intended to be filed with the IRS. The indictment states that, based in part upon the fraudulent tax letters prepared by Union Hispana, Virginia banks approved more than a dozen personal mortgage loans to clients who were unemployed and lacked the ability to repay the loans.

During the three-year scheme, these lenders were allegedly cheated out of $3.4 million in fraudulent loans – Source.

Mercado was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 29, 2011 and as always indictments are not evidence of guilt. Mercado is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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