A woman from Costa Rica is facing eight felony charges of bank fraud in the United States. According to a report by California television station Channel 10, Gabriela Carter has many years of experience as a real estate broker in the Golden State, but her troubles emerged from a time when she was acting as a mortgage loan officer. Ms. Carter could face a prison term of up to 30 years if she is convicted of all charges filed against her.
On Thursday, February 26th, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner of the Eastern District of California issued the following press release on this matter:
Sacramento Woman Charged With Eight Counts Of Bank Fraud
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment today against Gabriela Carter, 43, resident of Sacramento, charging her with bank fraud, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, from 2007 through 2008, Carter repeatedly submitted fraudulent loan applications to federally insured financial institutions to obtain real estate loans that her clients were not qualified to receive. In many instances, Carter falsely represented her clients’ income and generated false W-2s and paystubs for various shell companies that did not, in fact, employ them. Many of Carter’s clients were low-income immigrants who did not speak English and were unaware of the false representations.
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Michele Beckwith is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Carter faces a maximum statutory penalty of thirty years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
An investigation by journalists from News10, which is an ABC affiliate in Sacramento, revealed the following:
Six of the eight properties later went into foreclosure, some within two years of the fraudulent transactions. During the time period when the eight houses were sold — from October 2007 to March 2008 — Carter was a salesperson with 1st Synergy Real Estate and a principal with 1st American Pacific, a mortgage broker.