LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Three members of a Chatsworth family were sentenced today to federal prison for their roles in a mortgage relief fraud scheme that siphoned $30 million from homeowners and banks. Dorothy, Thomas and Jamie Matsuba were sentenced by U.S. District Judge R. Gary Klausner to 20, 14 and 11 years in prison, respectively, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. All three defendants were immediately remanded into custody.
Dorothy and Thomas Matsuba, both 67, and their 33-year-old daughter Jamie, were each found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, making false statements to federally insured banks, committing identity theft and other federal charges.
The family ran businesses under the name of Ownership Management Service LLC and Trust Holding Service LLC. From January 2005 to August 2014, the companies claimed to help homeowners get help from high mortgage debt through short sales, in which lenders sell a mortgaged property for less than the amount owed on the mortgage, court papers show.
The defendants convinced homeowners to deed their property to trusts controlled and created by the Matsubas, while also promising to pay their mortgages while negotiating with banks to short-sell those properties in a scheme to defraud the homeowners and banks. To slow foreclosure and increase profits, federal prosecutors said, the Matsubas also routinely forged signatures, used stolen and false identities and filed phony bankruptcy petitions.
Several others were also charged in the scheme. Jane Matsuba-Garcia, 42, of Camarillo, previously pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing, while Young Park of Los Angeles is a fugitive, prosecutors said.
In related cases, Jason Hong, 36, of Chatsworth, and Ryu Goeku, 48, of Canoga Park, previously pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.