Loan officer gets 18 months in $700K mortgage scam

Daniel Cardenas, 37, of Tampa, pleaded guilty April 24.
By: 
Aug. 13, 2018

TAMPA — Daniel Cardenas, 37, of Tampa, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his role in a wire fraud scheme dating back to the early days of the housing bust that cost mortgage lenders up to $710,000 in losses.

Cardenas pleaded guilty April 24, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Cardenas, authorities contended, was part of a group that conspired to execute a wire fraud scheme affecting financial institutions regarding condo sales at The Preserve at Temple Terrace, a 392-unit condo complex. From as early as October 2007 through May 2008, in order to entice buyers to purchase the units, “the conspirators offered cash payments to buyers, either before or after closing,” according to a statement. “Payment of the funds to the individual buyers was neither known to nor approved by the mortgage lenders.”

Officials alleged Cardenas, “in order to induce the institutions to provide funding for buyers,” prepared, signed and certified false and fraudulent loan applications in his role as a loan officer at the Tampa branch of Transcontinental Lending Group. The false representations submitted to and relied upon by the mortgage lenders included representations concerning occupancy, income, source of funds, and assets, the release states.