A 45-year-old Takoma Park man pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiring to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft from two separate residential mortgage fraud schemes.
Mokorya C. Wambura stole a friend’s identity to buy residential properties, then used that identity from March 2007 to November 2008 to defraud the government hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to his plea agreement and court documents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the District of Maryland.
Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah K. Chasanow has scheduled sentencing for June 16. Wambura could face up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each of the two wire fraud conspiracy counts, as well as a mandatory minimum of two years for aggravated identity theft consecutive to any other sentence, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Court documents say Wambura used stolen identity, false income statements, and credit information to buy a residence in Hyattsville in June 2008. The documents say he and co-conspirators fraudulently inflated the value of the property using false documents for repairs and renovations.
The scheme took place from July 2007 to May 2009, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Wambura used residences in Silver Spring and Hyattsville as part of the fraud, according to court documents.
Documents say Wambura opened a joint credit union account with his friend’s information, secured a mortgage and took possession of the house. He also used his friend’s stolen identity, became a landlord to receive federally subsidized funds through a housing voucher program and received part of the monthly rent payment from the house’s tenant.
According to court documents, Wambura and a conspirator also stole $29,186 in government housing program assistance checks, which had been made out to Wambura’s friend. But the friend never received the checks, because they were mailed to Wambura.
As a result of the two conspiracies, lending institutions lost between $400,000 and $1 million, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Howard Ray Cheris, his attorney, did not return phone calls for comment.