A Takoma Park man has been sentenced to five years in prison for what authorities said were two mortgage fraud schemes.
Mokorya Cosmas Wambura, 41, also was ordered to pay restitution of more than $400,000.
The U.S. attorney’s office said in a news release that in one case, Wambura and others conspired from March 2007 to November 2008 to unlawfully use another person’s identity to buy residential property. For a home that was purchased in Hyattsville in June 2008, the conspirators “inflated the sales price by creating false documents for repairs and renovations that were never made,” the news release said.
In the second fraud scheme, Wambura and Mrisho Mavuruma Mzese conspired to sell Mzese’s Silver Spring residence to Wambura’s friend and roommate, but without the friend’s involvement, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
The friend’s identity had been stolen, allowing Wambura to secure a mortgage, obtain the property and become a Section 8 landlord to get federally subsidized money. Authorities said Wambura received a portion of the monthly rent and $29,186 in housing assistance checks.
Chief U.S. District Judge Deborah J. Chasanow sentenced Wambura on Monday in federal court in Greenbelt.
Wambura will be on five years of supervised released after he serves his prison time.
Mzese, 39, of Clarksburg, was convicted at trial on May 1 on 11 counts, including conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud and aggravated identity theft, for his part in the second fraud scheme with Wambura. Mzese is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 7.
The U.S. attorney’s office said another person who was involved — Edgar Tibakweitira, 37, of Severn — previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy and identity theft and agreed to forfeit a Range Rover vehicle. Tibakweitira is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3.
The investigation and prosecution are part of President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was created in 2009, the U.S. attorney’s office said.