Sacramento man found guilty of running mortgage fraud scheme in Chico

Jul 24, 2014 6:56 PM by News Staff

A federal jury found a Sacramento man guilty of carrying out a mortgage fraud scheme in Chico and Sacramento from late 2006 into 2008 Thursday.

The jury found Leonard Williams, 52, of Sacramento, guilty today of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

Officials say Williams conspired with others to carry out the scheme in Chico and Sacramento using his companies Diamond Hill Financial and Bay Area Real Estate Holdings. The scheme resulted in the issuance of more than $2 million in home loans, with most of the buyers ultimately defaulting.

Williams and his partner Joshua Clymer recruited underqualified buyers, including family and friends, to purchase homes by making false promises and helped them secure loans with fraudulent applications.

"Fraud like that committed by Williams and his co-conspirators was an unnecessary contributor to the financial crisis that had such a serious impact on our country, and our communities in Northern California in particular," said United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Williams is scheduled to be sentenced on October 27, 2014 and faces up to 40 years in prison.


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