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Kansas Man Sentenced for HAMP Fraud

fraud-scamA Mexican national living in Wichita, Kansas, was sentenced for fraudulently obtaining a mortgage modification loan through the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP), which is funded by the government's Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), Special Inspector General for TARP (SIGTARP) Christy Romero announced recently.

Eduardo Garcia Sabag, who has been in federal custody since he was arrested on June 26, 2014, was sentenced for one count each of making false bank entries, reports, and transactions for using someone else's Social Security number to obtain his HAMP loan, according to Romero and U.S. Attorney for the District of Kansas Barry Grissom. Sabag entered a plea bargain on August 11 for the fraud charges and was sentenced to time served, which amounted to approximately 92 days in prison, and was placed in custody of U.S. Marshals. Also as part of his plea bargain, Sabag agreed not to challenge his removal from the U.S. to Mexico. U.S. District Judge Eric F. Melgren presided over Sabag's sentencing hearing.

Sabag, who is not a U.S. citizen and therefore not eligible to have a Social Security number assigned to him, originally obtained a loan on a residential property in Wichita through TARP recipient Bank of America using someone else's Social Security number. In 2010, he applied for and received a mortgage loan modification from Bank of America through HAMP using that same Social Security number. Sabag had previously certified that all the information on the HAMP application was truthful. The application contains a warning that knowingly providing false information is a violation of federal law.

"Sabag knowingly provided false information to obtain funds made available by the federal government to struggling homeowners through HAMP," Romero said. "Sabag defrauded the United States and TARP recipient Bank of America by taking advantage of HAMP at the expense of American taxpayers. Those who defraud taxpayers’ TARP investments will be brought to justice by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners."

About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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