Fairfax resident Erin Cullen was sentenced Friday, Sept. 21 to 30 days in jail for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. She was also ordered to pay her share of the more than $700,000 lost by financial institutions because of her role in a $1.5 million mortgage-fraud scheme.
Authorities said she and others joined together to defraud financial institutions into making fraudulent mortgage loans. The players included a mortgage broker, an unqualified straw buyer, an executive from a title company and several intermediaries who prepared and approved fraudulent loan documents.
According to a May 17 federal indictment, six co-conspirators “prepared and submitted false, fraudulent and misleading mortgage-loan applications for an unqualified buyer who would not have otherwise been approved for the loan. The fraudulent applications contained false information regarding the applicant’s employment, income, assets, immigration status and intent to live in the property as a primary residence.”
Court documents revealed that, “One month after conspirators fraudulently obtained $1.2 million in mortgage loan proceeds, they applied for and fraudulently received a $350,000 home equity loan, the proceeds of which were distributed among some of the conspirators.”
The indictment stated that those involved in the scheme “created fake documents to corroborate false information contained in fraudulent loan applications—including a fake lease, fabricated bank statement and a bogus W-2. One conspirator also falsely verified another conspirator’s employment in order to qualify for the loan.”
The mortgage-fraud scheme involved a home in Gainesville, and in May in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Cullen, 32, Fairfax’s Peter Kim, 39, and three other conspirators pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Cullen returned for sentencing last Friday, Sept. 21 and, at that time, U.S. District Court Judge Anthony J. Trenga sentenced her to 30 days in jail followed by two years supervised probation. Cullen was also ordered to pay her share of the $700,536 restitution owed the victims.
Kim was sentenced Sept. 7 to eight months incarceration followed by three years supervised release. He must pay his portion of the $700,536 restitution as well.
Jea Min Lee, 34, of Centreville, was also indicted, May 17, along with the others. He was charged with engaging in a conspiracy to defraud financial institutions into making fraudulent mortgage loans. However, his arrest warrant is still outstanding because he has fled and is currently a fugitive from the law.