SACRAMENTO -- A San Ramon man will spend 30 months in prison for his part in a scheme that defrauded his employer of more than $3 million, prosecutors said Monday.
Joel Blanford, 44, was convicted of six counts of mail fraud in a September 2012 trial, where a jury found him guilty of defrauding Long Beach Mortgage, a wholesale subprime lender and former subsidiary of Washington Mutual, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said in a news release. Evidence presented at the trial showed that Blanford paid a loan coordinator to help him garner millions of dollar in commissions.
From April 2003 to October 2005, Blanford, who worked as a senior sales representative for Long Beach Mortgage, participated in a scheme to defraud the company, which paid him commissions based on the amount of loans he processed, Wagner said.
According to evidence presented at the trial, Blanford reportedly paid a loan coordinator to produce fake documents, falsely verify borrowers' employment or professional licensing status, and turn a blind eye to fraudulent representations in loan applications and other documents submitted to Long Beach Mortgage.
Blanford received more than $3 million in commissions and other compensation as a result of his scheme, Wagner said, and the loan coordinator was paid more than $50,000 in checks alone, without taking into account cash he may have been paid.
"This investigation exposed a sophisticated chain of fraud that started at the homebuyer level and extended all the way to banking insiders," Wagner said. "It is a lesson that those earning million-dollar paychecks are not exempt from significant criminal penalties."
Blanford was sentenced in a Sacramento courtroom to 30 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release.