Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of California
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, April 11, 2016
Modesto Developer Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme
FRESNO, Calif. — United States District Judge Anthony W. Ishii sentenced Aruna Kumari Chopra, 66, of Modesto, today to one year and one day in prison, to be followed by a year of home confinement, for her mail fraud conviction in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, in 2008, Chopra purchased property on Dale Road in Modesto that she intended to develop into a shopping center to be called “The Plaza at Dale.” She defrauded lenders by filing documents with the Stanislaus County Recorder=s Office that contained forged signatures in an attempt to conceal liens on the property from her lenders. The loans made by the defrauded lenders on the property totaled approximately $8.9 million. Chopra pleaded guilty on November 30, 2015.
This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, and the Federal Housing Finance Office, Office of Inspector General, working together through the San Joaquin Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The U.S. Attorney and the FBI created the San Joaquin Valley Mortgage Fraud Task Force in 2009 to further the prosecution of mortgage fraud cases arising out of the southern half of the Central Valley. Assistant United States Attorney Mark J. McKeon prosecuted the case.