- Associated Press - Friday, March 28, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Three people have been sentenced to prison for orchestrating a $22 million scheme to defraud residential mortgage lenders.

The stiffest sentence of nine years was given Friday to 36-year-old Walter Ryan Macapaz. Thirty-three-year-old Tony David Maldonado was sentenced to two years and 42-year-old Buffy Marie Lawrence, a former mortgage loan officer, to one.

All three previously pleaded guilty to federal charges. A fourth defendant was sentenced last year. They were first indicted in 2011.

Federal prosecutors say they used fraudulent documents to help borrowers qualify for mortgage loans to purchase condominium units in the Houston area. The documents contained false information about the borrowers’ income, assets, bank deposits and other numbers.

Macapaz and the others arranged for borrowers to submit the false documents to secure inflated loans.

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