Stephen Gibbons, Assistant District Attorney   CONTACT PERSON:
Joseph P. Reader, Deputy District Attorney
Real Estate Fraud Unit
(408) 792-2689   For release on March 21, 2006     DISTRICT ATTORNEY INVESTIGATORS ARREST SUSPECT IN MORTGAGE FRAUD   Melissa Renee Duran-Casaus, age 32, of San Jose was arrested today by investigators from the Investigations Division of the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The suspect was arrested at her current employment as a temporary office assistant in Sunnyvale. Duran-Casaus was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail and bail was set at $20,000.    Duran-Casaus is charged with conspiring to defraud lenders by falsifying borrowers’ financial backgrounds. She is also charged with three counts of grand theft from some of the lenders for the amounts of the real estate loans that were paid out based on the false information she submitted to them.    The reports filed with the court allege that Duran-Casaus worked for a local insurance broker when she was approached by a real estate agent. At the real estate agent’s request, Duran-Casaus responded to employment verification inquiries from lenders. In completing the employment verifications, Duran-Casaus stated that the loan applicants had worked at the insurance brokerage for a number of years and were earning relatively high wages. None of the loan applicants in fact worked at the company nor is there any evidence that their earnings were as high as Duran-Casaus stated. In return for providing the false information to the lenders, Duran-Casaus allegedly received payments from the real estate agent.   If convicted of all the charges and enhancements, Duran-Casaus faces a maximum of 7 years and 4 months in state prison.   The investigation of this matter is ongoing and additional charges and arrests are anticipated. The District Attorney’s Office believes there are other victims of Duran-Casaus’ false pretenses and forgeries. Anyone who has information about these crimes is asked to contact District Attorney Investigator Robert Traskowski at (408) 792-2938 or Deputy District Attorney Joseph Reader at (408) 792-2689.   ###  

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