Former Loan Officer Pleads Guilty in $4.3M Scheme

Larry Gene Hillard, a former Wells Fargo loan officer, fraudulently helped secure loans for 12 properties, which resulted in $1.4 million in losses.

A former loan officer with San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Company pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in a $4.3 million mortgage fraud scheme.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Minnesota, Larry Gene Hillard helped Truang Quang Tran and Thanh Van Ngo, who owned Invescorp, fraudulently obtain loans for 12 properties. Hillard, 56, of Maple Grove, was charged on March 10.

Hillard admitted that while he was employed as a loan officer, he provided Tran and Ngo with specific information about the amount of assets and income that would be required to qualify for a particular loan. Then, a short time later, he completed fraudulent loan applications that contained those same asset and income figures that he previously provided.

The loan amounts for the 12 properties involved in the fraud scheme totaled more than $4.3 million, and the loss amount was more than $1.4 million, according to the attorney's office.

Hillard faces up to five years in prison, and his sentence will be determined by U.S. District Court Judge Ann D. Montgomery at a later date.

Tran was sentenced earlier this year to two years in federal prison for his role in the scheme. Last week, Ngo was sentenced to one year and one day in prison for his participation. Three co-defendants also have been sentenced.