A Los Angeles man accused of defrauding distressed homeowners in Visalia and other Central California areas was arraigned in federal court Wednesday.
On Dec. 31, 2015, a federal grand jury indicted Martin Calzada, 27, on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and mail fraud.
According to court documents, between August 2010 and October 2011, Calzada and other employees of Star Reliable Mortgage targeted distressed homeowners with a fraudulent “loan elimination” scheme. Instead of owning their homes, many of Star Reliable’s clients lost their homes in foreclosure, causing more than 100 homeowners to pay approximately $875,000 to Star Reliable and causing lending institutions to lose more than $4 million.
At least $270,000 of the money paid to Star Reliable by homeowners was funneled back to Calzada, according to court documents.
If convicted, Calzada faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Megan Ginise: 559-441-6614