After a quick two day trial earlier this month, a jury in Santa Ana found Armando Granillo, a former Fannie Mae employee, guilty on three counts of defrauding the company he worked for. Granillo, who had worked at the company’s Irvine office, was a foreclosure specialist at the mortgage giant before he was arrested for soliciting illegal kickbacks.
As previously mentioned in our articles “Did Your Pocket Get Picked by a Fannie Mae Employee?” and “Scandal at Fannie Mae: The Investigation Continues”, the investigation began back in March of 2013 when government officials recorded a series of conversations between Granillo and Arizona broker Gus Maughan, in which the two discuss a 20% return on the resulting sales commissions.
In court, jurors watched footage of Granillo as he promised to help Maughan close sales and “put other realtors in Tucson out of business” in exchange for the $11,200 kickback.
This shady practice may be prevalent among the foreclosure specialists in Irvine. During his testimony Granillo admitted that he knew he could be fired for the kickbacks, but suggested that kickbacks were common at Fannie Mae. He went as far as to call his associates, “a bunch of crooks.”
This testament corresponds with those of Cecilia Carter, another former foreclosure specialist from the Irvine office, who filed a lawsuit claiming that she was fired for trying to expose the corruption occurring within the company. During her suit, Carter identified Granillo as one of the many accepting the illegal payment.
Whether Granillo will testify about Carter is still unknown, but the two have discussed the kickbacks and the company’s alleged lack of interest in doing anything about them.
While the exact consequences won’t be known until Granillo’s sentencing on May 27, one thing is certain – there is a little less corruption now at Fannie Mae.
What are your thoughts? Do you think there’s widespread corruption within Fannie Mae?
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