United States Attorney
Eastern District of California
Thursday, September 20, 2012
California Man Charged with Multimillion Dollar Loan Fraud
A federal grand jury returned a six-count indictment today charging Ryan William Costo, 37, of Granite Bay, Calif., with mail, wire and bank fraud, as well as making false statements to financial institutions, all in connection with various schemes to defraud lenders, U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to the indictment, Costo falsely overstated his income and financial assets while applying for three separate loans: a $1.95 million loan from CitiMortgage Inc. for a Granite Bay residence; a $3 million loan from Washington Mutual Bank for another Granite Bay residence; and a $1.35 million loan from Bank of America for a 1945 North American P-51 D Mustang classic aircraft.
The indictment alleges that Costo not only made false statements about his income and various bank and stock account balances on the loan applications but also caused various false and fraudulent account statements and tax returns to be given to the lenders in order to procure the loans. As a result of the fraud, lenders reported aggregate losses of over $3 million.
This case was investigated by the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Tice-Raskin is prosecuting the case.
The maximum statutory penalty for each violation of mail, wire and bank fraud is 30 years in prison, a fine of twice the monetary gain or loss, and a three year term of supervised release. The maximum statutory penalty for each false statement violation is 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine and a three-year term of supervised release. The actual sentence, if Costo is convicted, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The allegations in the indictment are mere accusations and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Today’s announcement is part of efforts underway by President Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force (FFETF), which was created in November 2009 to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. With more than 20 federal agencies, 94 U.S. attorneys’ offices and state and local partners, it’s the broadest coalition of law enforcement, investigatory and regulatory agencies ever assembled to combat fraud. Since its formation, the task force has made great strides in facilitating increased investigation and prosecution of financial crimes; enhancing coordination and cooperation among federal, state and local authorities; addressing discrimination in the lending and financial markets and conducting outreach to the public, victims, financial institutions and other organizations. Over the past three fiscal years, the Justice Department has filed more than 10,000 financial fraud cases against nearly 15,000 defendants including more than 2,700 mortgage fraud defendants. For more information on the task force, visit www.stopfraud.gov .