West Hollywood man gets 12 years for ‘most brazen and heartless’ mortgage fraud – Orange County Register
A West Hollywood man who defrauded more than 2,000 homeowners and caused $7.6 million in losses was sentenced Monday to more than 12 1/2 years in federal prison, authorities said.
Patrick Soria, 35, was “a skillful conman who created a very sophisticated scheme,” U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer said, according to a statement from the U.S. district attorney’s office.
“This is not the largest case I have presided over in terms of dollars, but it is the most brazen and heartless,” Fischer said.
Prosecutors said Soria ran the mortgage fraud scheme around the country. He made phony filings at county recorders’ offices claiming to own properties that he then sold.
He used the money to fund a lifestyle that included escort services, luxury hotel stays and rentals of fancy cars, such as a Lamborghini, the prosecutors said.
Soria also defrauded some homeowners by befriending them and convincing them that he could reduce their mortgage payments by modifying their loans or taking over their mortgages from their lenders, prosecutors said.
“After gaining the victims’ trust, Soria convinced homeowners to stop paying their real lender and to start paying him” and many lost their homes, the statement said.
The properties involved were in states including California, Texas, New York and Nevada, prosecutors said.
Soria pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and contempt of court.