California Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy

A man from Elk Grove, California, was recently sentenced to federal prison for conspiring to commit mortgage fraud. Sean Patrick Gjerde, 37, received two and a half years for the fraud conspiracy as well as for making false statements in loan applications. Gjerde pleaded guilty to the charges in December of last year.

According to a press release from the U.S Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, court documents indicate that Gjerde, who was an attorney, “took part in a mortgage fraud scheme by providing false income verifications. He was hired by Hoda Samuel, the owner and operator of with Liberty Real Estate & Investment Company, a real estate agency, and Liberty Mortgage Company, a mortgage brokerage business. Samuel was convicted after a jury trial and recently sentenced to 10 years in prison. Eight others were charged in the scheme. Seven other co-defendants in the scheme pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.

In his plea agreement, Gjerde admitted that some clients of Liberty Mortgage Company falsely told lenders that they were self-employed and made earnings far higher than their actual income. Gjerde then misrepresented himself to the lenders as a tax attorney and that he had prepared the tax returns for the individuals who were submitting the false information on the loan applications. Gjerde then false affirmed that the information on those applications was true. Gjered admitted that he had written approximately 20 such letters to lenders.

During Gjerde’s sentencing, United States District Judge John A. Mendez said that Gjerde “willfully lied to back up the lies in the loan applications, and that as a lawyer, ‘He should have shut this whole thing down. That’s his obligation as a lawyer. He didn’t do that. He went along with it.’