ROCKVILLE, Md. (WUSA) - After a year long investigation, Montgomery County Police arrested two men in a loan scam that snared 12 Maryland residents for a total of $50,000.
Carlos Sanchez, 35, of
the 6600 block of 13th Street Northwest in the District of Columbia and Franco Villatoro, 31, of the 6500 block of Lamont Place in
Hyattsville were arrested after a Montgomery County grand jury's indictment Jan. 25 on a variety of charges.
Villatoro was arrested on February 17 in Prince George's County by
members of the U.S. Marshals Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force
(CARFTF) to include Montgomery County Deputy Sheriffs and is being held
at the Montgomery County Detention Center on $10,000 bond. Sanchez was
arrested in Miami, Florida on February 19 and is awaiting extradition to
In January of 2011, the Montgomery County Police Department was contacted by a resident who believed he was a victim of a loan scam and that there were other victims in the community. The complainant provided the name of the loan company, the Metropolitan Financial Services, and the names of the individuals involved with this loan business, Carlos Sanchez and Franco Villatoro.
The Montgomery County Police Financial Crimes Section began an investigation into the business and associated employees. Detectives contacted the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) to inquire about Metropolitan Financial Services and Sanchez and Villatoro. Detectives discovered that the company was not licensed or registered to broker loans in the state of Maryland and that Sanchez and Villatoro were not licensed mortgage brokers.
Over the next year, detectives continued to investigate the fraudulent business and identified 12 Montgomery County victims. Victims from the Latino community applied for various types of low interest loans (business, mortgage, and mortgage modifications) through Sanchez and Villatoro. Victims were told that Sanchez worked in the banking industry and therefore had numerous contacts. Victims were promised loans but were told they had to pay some fees upfront. Victims never received promised loans and were unable to make contact with Sanchez and Villatoro to ask for the reimbursement of fees. Detectives determined that loan documents provided to victims were fraudulent and that Sanchez and Villatoro had no association with the bank listed on the documents. In total, Sanchez and Villatoro were able to obtain approximately $50,000 from the 12 Montgomery County victims.
The grand jury indicted Sanchez and Villatoro on the following charges: theft scheme $10,000 to under $100,000, conspiracy to commit theft over $10,000 to under $100,000, five counts of theft $1,000 to under $10,000, and four counts of mortgage fraud.
The police department is concerned there may be additional victims of Villatoro and Sanchez' scheme and encourages victims who have not made a report to please call the Financial Crimes Section at 240-773-6330.