A Temecula man is among six people facing charges for what federal prosecutors said Thursday involves more than $20 million worth of mortgage fraud.
Michael Wayne Wickware, 54, faces one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud, the San Diego U.S. attorney’s office said.
According to online records, Wickware was in custody Thursday at the federal jail in downtown San Diego.
Also charged in the scheme are San Diego residents Brian Andrew La Porte, 34; Daniel John Schuetz, 37; Darryl Anthony Wallace, aka Darryl Anthony White, 47; and Terrence Smith, aka Terry Lee Smith, 45.
The final defendant is Chula Vista resident Roxanne Yvette Hempstead, 53.
The defendants are accused of submitting false and fraudulent mortgage loan applications —- inducing financial institutions to give 36 loans totaling approximately $20.8 million, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.
Federal prosecutors alleged in a newly unsealed indictment that the six defendants cooked up a scheme in which they lied to mortgage lenders to obtain money and property, and then diverted the proceeds for their personal use and benefit.
Under the alleged scheme, the defendants recruited straw buyers with good credit to take out mortgage loans.
But, other than having sound credit, the straw buyers would not have qualified for the loans —- so defendants La Porte and Schuetz allegedly prepared loan applications containing false financial and employment information from the straw buyers, according to the indictment.
Once the loans were made, the defendants allegedly had the escrow agents divert them the money so they could benefit from the proceeds.
The defendants are scheduled to be in federal court on June 28.
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