Edwin Parada Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, April 4, 2012

CONTACT: Stephanie Ong Stillman, (415) 553-1167 or (415) 740-5134
Omid Talai, (415) 553-9272

Edwin Parada Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

SAN FRANCISCO – District Attorney George Gascón announced today the sentencing of Edwin Parada, age 33, who pled guilty to 24 felony counts for a fraud involving mortgage and investment scams targeting Spanish-speaking homeowners in San Francisco. Parada was sentenced by Judge John Dearman
to 15 years state prison. The People will submit restitution orders with the court on May 18, 2012.

“Many immigrants come to America with dreams of owning a home. For Edwin Parada’s victims, these dreams were shattered when he preyed on their vulnerabilities and stole their hard earned money,” said District Attorney George Gascón. “My office has made white collar crime one of our top priorities so that at-risk homeowners, seniors and low-income families won’t become prey to mortgage fraud.”

In December 2008, Parada was charged for mortgage and investment fraud involving 12 victims. The complaint alleged grand theft and taking money in excess of $200,000. [PC §§487(a) and 12022.6(a)(2)].

In May 2009, Parada was additionally charged for similar mortgage and investment fraud involving 19 other victims. Those charges were: 12 counts of grand theft [PC §487(a)]; 1 count of filing a false state income tax return [Revenue and Taxation §19705]; 1 count of tax evasion and 1 count of failing to file a tax return [R&T §19706], and 3 excessive taking allegations per PC §§186.11(a)(2), 12022.6(a)(3), and 1203.45.

On February 17, 2012, Parada pled guilty to all charges and allegations from the two cases totaling a loss of more than $2.0 million involving 31 victims. Parada was a pastor and former realtor with offices at 5700 Mission Street in San Francisco, and also the former owner of several restaurants. Most of the victims dealt with Parada through his real estate business or learned of him through a paid Spanish language radio program he hosted that dealt with real estate and religion. Victims came to Parada requesting assistance in purchasing a home, selling a home, or doing a refinance of an existing home. In all of the cases, Parada persuaded victims to give him money, either as an investment, a loan, or for him to hold for unspecified reasons. In each case, Parada failed to return the money given to him by the victim.

“Today, I join the District Attorney in sending a message to at-risk homeowners, especially in immigrant communities, that mortgage fraud under any circumstances will not be tolerated, “said Supervisor David Campos. “Thank you to the District Attorney’s Office, San Francisco Police Department, and Mission Economic Development Association for your hard work in bringing justice for Edwin Parada’s victims.”

Sandip Patel is the Assistant District Attorney prosecuting the case and Robert Steger is the San Francisco Police Department Inspector who investigated the case.