Resident of The Colony Admits Role in $10 Million Fraud
DALLAS — Ima Maria Isham, 22, of The Colony, Texas appeared this morning before U.S. Magistrate Judge Rebecca Rutherford and pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas.
Isham faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine. Restitution is mandatory. Isham remains on bond; a sentencing date was not set.
According to documents filed in the case, beginning in March 2015 and continuing until March 2016, Isham, along with coconspirators Eddie Contreraz, Stephanie Loraine Contreraz, Bryce Carragan Armijo, Elizabeth Flint, Abraham Valdez, and Kwanghee (Kathy) Anh, conspired with each other, to commit bank fraud.
Isham and other conspirators were employed at Preferred Marketing Group (PMG), also known as PMG Business Solutions. PMG was a loan brokerage company that assisted clients obtain loans, lines of credit, and credit cards. Since the majority of clients had low credit scores, as well as insufficient or unverifiable income or employment, most lenders did not consider these clients to be good credit risks. To overcome these obstacles to obtaining funding, conspirator PMG employees were aware that conspirator Eddie Contreraz frequently created fake paystubs, tax forms and other fraudulent documents in order to falsely inflate clients’ income, as well as falsify a client’s employment position and length of employment. Isham and other conspirators caused many clients to fraudulently obtain funding by causing clients to submit to various lenders false financial and false employment information provided by co-defendant Eddie Contreraz.
The defendants fraudulently obtained loan proceeds from several federally insured banks in the Dallas and Fort Worth area by causing borrower loan applications to be submitted to banks which contained false information. False loan information submitted to financial institutions included, inflated false income figures; falsely list the loan applicant’s position as manager of a company (when the applicant actually owned the company or was employed in a lower salaried position); and falsely reported employment when a client was actually unemployed.
According to documents filed in the case, Isham and coconspirators caused borrowers with low credit scores to use “credit repair” services to raise the borrower’s credit score in order to qualify for loans later obtained through the use of false and fictitious documents created by defendant Eddie Contreraz.
From March 2015 through March 2016, Isham and coconspirators fraudulently obtained loans, credit lines, and credit cards from several banks in the total amount of at least $10 million.
The Fort Worth Federal Bureau of Investigation is investigating the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney David Jarvis is in charge of the prosecution.