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LASD - Los Angeles County Sheriffs Dept Information Bureau (SIB)
Wednesday April 18th, 2012 :: 01:36 p.m. PDT


Nine Suspects Arrested and Charged in a $2.3 Million Mortgage Fraud

Between October 2007 and June 2009, Gerard Bueno, operating as Pres Mex, Inc., and Jesus Vega Jr., operating as JVJ, Inc., are accused of defrauding CitiMortage and MetLife Bank out of $2.3 million by way of a fraudulent mortgage loan scheme.

The allegations include that Bueno and Vega Jr. obtained titles to six residential properties in Los Angeles County by various means. They then obtained loans against the properties in the names of straw buyers, two of which were identity theft victims, and in effect “sold” the properties to themselves at inflated prices that they themselves set.

Bueno and Vega Jr. recruited friends, family members and acquaintances to act as straw buyers, provided stolen identities, provided false bank account verifications, provided false employment information, and notarized documents when signers were not present. Bueno and Vega Jr. split the profits from the fraudulent sales, and paid the other suspects for the aforementioned acts. All six fraudulently obtained loans that went into default.

On April 6, 2012, the suspects were charged by the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles Superior Court case number BA394549. Warrants were subsequently issued for their arrests. The suspects are identified as follows:

Gerard A. Bueno, 35, from La Habra Heights

Jesus Vega Jr., 28, from Hacienda Heights

Andres Victoria, 26, from Albany, New York

Alejandro Valdelamar, 44, from Long Beach

Jose Carlos Henriquez, 42, from Lynwood

George H. Kent, 66, from La Mirada

Laura Garcia, 31, from Paramount

Beatriz Miranda, 56, from Hawaiian Gardens

Michael Palomares, 27, from Compton

The defrauded homes were in Compton, Hawaiian Gardens, and Los Angeles.

The charges in this case include multiple counts of Grand Theft, Identity Theft, Forgery, and Procuring or Offering False or Forged Instruments. Suspect Valdelamar was arrested at his home by Long Beach Police Officers on April 12, 2012.

Suspects Henriquez, Garcia, Miranda, Kent and Palomares were arrested at their homes by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies on April 12 and April 13, 2012.

Suspects Bueno and Vega Jr. surrendered to the court and were taken into custody on April 17, 2012. Suspect Victoria was arrested in Albany, New York, by Albany Police Officers on April 18, 2012, and is awaiting extradition to California.

The investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Commercial Crimes Bureau Real Estate Fraud Team and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.

For further information contact LASD Detective Christopher Derry
562- 233-8204. Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call “LA Crime Stoppers” by dialing 800-222-TIPS (8477), texting the letters TIPLA plus your tip to CRIMES (274637), or using the website .

For further information contact:
Detective Christopher Derry
562- 233-8204
Commercial Crimes Bureau
Detective Division
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

Forwarded by:
Captain Mike Parker
Sheriff's Headquarters Bureau - Newsroom
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department
(323) 267-4800
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Sheriff Leroy D. Baca
Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department

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