Honolulu mortgage brokers Welton Kalani and Stephen Balino have been found guilty on numerous counts of mortgage fraud and money laundering, the U.S. Department of Justice reported Tuesday.
Kalani was found guilty of 12 counts of wire and mail fraud, money laundering and conspiracy, and Stephen Balino was convicted of seven counts of wire and mail fraud, money laundering, conspiracy and making false statements.
According to prosecutors, Kalani, 48, as co-owner of Accel Mortgage LLC , and Balino, 51, as owner of New Horizons Financial, encouraged struggling homeowners to surrender the title of their homes, allowing the homeowners to remain as renters until the homeowners could buy back the properties.
The pair then recruited people to serve as buyers for the homes, who obtained loans by falsely claiming they would live in the property. The false loan applications were supported by fraudulent documents produced by people working with Kalani and Balino.
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