A Murrieta couple who targeted distressed Inland Empire homeowners in a mortgage fraud scheme from which the pair profited handsomely were on their way today to federal prison.
Joe Daniel Cody, 43, and his wife, Angela Lynette Cody, 38, were sentenced Monday to a combined 9 years behind bars after being convicted of money laundering and conspiracy.
U.S. District Judge Virginia Phillips in Riverside imposed a 63-month sentence on Joe Cody and a 48-month term on his wife, ordering both to pay more than $1 million in restitution.
According to the IRS, between May 2003 and June 2006, the couple ran All Fund Mortgage out of their Murrieta home, offering refinancing services that promised homeowners lower monthly mortgage payments if they agreed to "temporarily" sell their homes to predetermined buyers.
The Codys, in fact, used straw purchasers with whom they were associated and paid between $1,000 and $25,000 to function as loan recipients to acquire properties that the defendants wanted, according to prosecutors.
Once the couple's buyers obtained the deeds to the properties, the Codys cashed out all available equity, leaving the homes with huge liens and the original owners with no chance of taking back title to their houses, prosecutors said.
At least 21 people in Riverside and San Bernardino counties fell prey to the scheme, with losses totaling just over $1 million, according to the IRS,
The agency said almost all of the properties were either repossessed in foreclosure proceedings or were re-sold to new buyers.