Ex-Wells Fargo Loan Officer Gets 13 Mos. for Fraud

Maple Grove resident Larry Gene Hillard, who participated in 12 fraudulent transactions in 2007 and 2008, was sentenced Tuesday for his role in a $4.3 million mortgage fraud scheme.

A former loan officer for San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Company was sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to pay approximately $1.4 million in restitution for participating in a $4.3 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Larry Gene Hillard, 57, of Maple Grove, was charged in March and pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Hillard admitted in his plea agreement that while he was employed as a loan officer at Wells Fargo, he helped Truang Quang Tran and Thanh Van Ngo to fraudulently obtain loans for 12 properties. The fraudulent transactions occurred between 2007 and August 21, 2008.

Hillard said that Tran and Ngo-owners of Investcorp-provided personal information about several people so that he could run credit reports on those individuals and return the reports to Tran and Ngo. Hillard also gave the pair specific information about the amount of assets and income required to qualify for a particular loan. A short time later, he received and prepared fraudulent loan applications that contained those same asset and income figures.

The loan amount for the 12 properties involved in the fraud scheme totaled more than $4.3 million, and losses exceeded $1.4 million.

Tran was previously sentenced to two years in prison, and Ngo received one year and one day in prison. Three co-defendants have also been sentenced.

Hillard's sentence was handed down Tuesday by U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery.