Downey man pleads guilty to mail fraud

DOWNEY - A former tax preparer who scammed Latino homeowners out of their homes was sentenced to two years in federal prison on Monday.Pablo Araque, 41, pleaded guilty in January to identity theft and mail fraud. Working out of his office in Downey, Araque admitted using fake employment and income records to secure the title to victims' homes before draining the equity. Araque sold phony income records to straw buyers, resulting in more than $1 million in losses to lenders. Prosecutors said the operation was managed by Juan Rangel, who is currently in prison serving a 22-year prison term for a separate Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $30 million. A third defendant, Javier Juanchi, is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 24.

********** Published: June 21, 2012 - Volume 11 - Issue 10