Julian James Ruiz III pleads guilty to multiple counts of theft, mortgage fraud and tax evasion and is sentenced to 61 months in prison
Oregon Attorney General John Kroger today announced the conviction and sentencing of a Salem mortgage broker on mortgage fraud, theft, identity theft and tax evasion charges. This is the first criminal case completed by the Attorney General's new Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The Mortgage Fraud Task Force was created by Attorney General Kroger in late 2009 to combat fraud in the mortgage and foreclosure relief industries.
"If you cheat vulnerable Oregonians facing foreclosure, we will hold you accountable," said Attorney General Kroger.
Julian James Ruiz III (DOB: 4/28/1971) was sentenced to 61 months in prison after pleading guilty to 2 counts of Aggravated Theft in the First Degree; 1 count of Aggravated Identity Theft in the First Degree; 1 count of Identity Theft in the First Degree; 1 count of Mortgage Fraud; 1 count of Forgery in the First Degree; 1 count of Tax Evasion; and 1 count of violating House Bill 3630, which prohibits collecting advance fees for loan modifications.
Ruiz was stripped of his mortgage license and permanently barred from working in the industry. The judge also ordered Ruiz, manager and owner of American Home Modifications, a Salem-based loan modification company, to pay $469,500 in restitution to more than 100 victims.
The Ruiz investigation involved the Oregon Department of Justice's Financial Fraud and Criminal Justice sections, the state Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, the Salem Police Department and the Marion County District Attorney's Office.
Fighting mortgage fraud is a top priority for Attorney General Kroger. When Kroger took office, the Oregon Department of Justice had no attorneys dedicated to mortgage fraud. Since its creation, the new Mortgage Fraud Task force has opened more than two dozen mortgage fraud and foreclosure scam investigations.
Assistant Attorneys General Simon Whang and Janelle Wipper prosecuted the case for the Department of Justice.
Loan modification customers of Julian Ruiz or his UMAX mortgage business should not rely on Ruiz to complete their loan modifications and may wish to consult with a HUD-approved counselor to avoid pending foreclosure or defaults. Consumers can call 800-SAFE-NET or 800-723-3638 to find a counselor, including Spanish-speaking counselors, at: http://www.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm?webListAction=search&searchstate=OR.
Further foreclosure prevention information can be found at the Division of Finance and Corporate Securities website: http://www.dfcs.oregon.gov/ml/foreclosure.html
Additional information is available at the Department Justice website: http://www.doj.state.or.us/finfraud/mortgage_fraud.shtml.
Going after crooked mortgage companies is part of a larger effort by the Department of Justice, the state Department of Consumer and Business Services, the Oregon Legislature and consumer groups to fight the foreclosure crisis.
Attorney General John Kroger leads the Oregon Department of Justice. The Department's mission is to fight crime and fraud, protect the environment, improve child welfare, promote a positive business climate, and defend the rights of all Oregonians.
Tony Green, (503) 378-6002 firstname.lastname@example.org