Two men have pleaded pleaded guilty to fraud charges stemming from a foreclosure rescue scheme in which homeowners lost $2.5 million, the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Juan Ramon Curiel, 36, of Visalia, and Santiago Palacios-Hernandez, 45, of Salinas, pleaded guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and bankruptcy fraud. They will be sentenced later this year.
They operated Star Reliable Mortgage in Visalia, Bakersfield and Salinas.
In 2010 and 2011, they defrauded more than 200 homeowners by offering a “loan elimination” program for $2,500 to $4,500 plus monthly fees, told clients to stop paying their mortgages, and filed fraudulent documents at county recorders’ offices, the District Attorney’s Office said.
The FBI and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigation investigated the case.