Packed courtroom witnesses federal judge sentence Ramona real estate agent

By Neal Putnam

Ramona real estate agent Teresa Rose was sentenced Jan. 3 to 15 months in federal prison in a mortgage loan fraud scheme. She was ordered to pay $532,687 to victims in a split restitution order with three other co-defendants.

Rose, 58, was allowed to remain free on $50,000 bond by U.S. District Court Judge John Houston until Feb. 17. Houston recommended that she be housed in a women’s prison in Phoenix at the request of her attorney, Michael Lipman.

It was a packed courtroom. On one side were Rose’s four daughters, her sister and supporters, and on the other side were several other real estate agents from Ramona, with non-supporters and one victim lender.

Afterwards, as the two groups passed each other in the hallway, applause for the sentence and yelling could be heard inside the courtroom. U.S. marshals quickly separated the two groups, and a prosecutor rushed out and talked to the non-supporters, asking them to stay back.

A woman who was with Rose’s supporters claimed one man had threatened her, but he denied it. Marshals told him to sit down on a bench and wait until the other group left on the 13th floor elevators.

Rose could have received five years in federal prison. She pleaded guilty in 2012 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and she was the last of six people sentenced in the scheme. Her attorney said the guilty pleas represented actions that occurred in 2006 to 2007.

The state Department of Real Estate will make a determination as to whether Rose’s license will be revoked as a result of her felony convictions, said Lipman, a former federal prosecutor. However, Houston barred Rose from working in real estate after her parole and prohibited her from opening up new lines of credit.

In court documents, Lipman sought a 12-month sentence of house arrest with probation plus 1,000 hours of community service.

Matt Curtiss, the president of Camp Victory Sports in Ramona, offered in a letter to the judge to have Rose volunteer her time as a camp assistant with Ramona Youth Football and American Youth Football.

However, Houston said at the start of the sentencing he did not believe probation was appropriate. Lipman then shifted to urging a prison term not exceeding four months.

Lipman noted that Rose is the “primary caretaker” of her 6-year-old grandson, saying “she stepped up like any grandmother would do.”

According to letters from Rose’s daughters to the judge, the mother of the boy lost custody after she was arrested due to conduct involving drug addiction. The letters are public record.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Emily Allen said Rose was the only real estate agent among the five other co-defendants and her knowledge was essential in completing the scheme. Allen said Rose made more than $200,000 from nine properties in Ramona that went into foreclosure.

Allen said the victims “feel betrayed by the conduct and unfair business practices” that included creating false records that would allow for people to qualify as home buyers. She said Rose’s role was to recruit investors as straw buyers who were promised $10,000, and she falsified loan applications.

Gesturing to other real estate agents in the audience, Allen said they were “dismayed by the case as they fear it makes them and the whole community look bad.”

Rose stood next to Lipman and apologized.

“I am so sorry for my actions and I accept full responsibility,” she said. “I cannot reverse what I did, but I can learn from it. My shame and embarrassment have taught me humility. I will never again believe in my importance. My biggest concern is my grandson.”

Houston said the total loss to victims was $2.5 million, and that Rose convinced “good people” to lie by increasing the value of the properties and income on false mortgage applications. Rose fabricated employment histories and claimed assets by victims that they did not own, he said.

Houston addressed the claim by Lipman who said Rose was duped by co-defendant Mary Armstrong, 52, of Las Vegas, who was sentenced by Houston to 100 months in prison as the mastermind in 2012.

“You continued the same fraud on your own,” said Houston to Rose, noting it continued even after Rose stopped working with Armstrong. “You used special skills and a position of trust.”

Rose was president of the homeowners association at San Vicente Country Villas IV in the San Diego Country Estates development in Ramona. Several people afterward were heard discussing whether she would remain on the board while she is in prison.

Rose waived an appeal.

William Fountain, 57, of Los Angeles, was sentenced to 42 months in prison. John Allen, 44, of Laguna Hills, received one year in 2013. Justin Mensen, 32, of Seattle, received five years probation, but he, Fountain, Armstrong and Rose were ordered to share the restitution figure. Audrey Yeboah, 55, of Los Angeles, was fined $2,500 and placed on three years probation, according to court records.

Related posts:

  1. Judge sentences Ramona real estate agent to 15 months in prison for fraud scheme
  2. New sentencing date set for real estate agent in conspiracy case
  3. Mastermind sentenced in mortgage-fraud scheme that involved Ramona real estate agent
  4. Teresa Rose sentencing delayed till Jan. 3
  5. Judge sentences Ramona man to 60 days in federal prison in loan scheme

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Posted by Maureen Robertson on Jan 4 2014. Filed under Featured Story, News, Ramona. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

11 Comments for “Packed courtroom witnesses federal judge sentence Ramona real estate agent”

  1. Sandy

    Her grandson is her priority????? We, that live out here in the Davis Cup Condos, know that is a joke. That whole family is sociopathic. Drugs & fraud, what a combo. The only reason that she is contrite is because she was caught. This judge blew it by not sending her away for a long time. The system is definitely broken in this country.

    • guest

      I’m sure you arn’t perfect.nobody is we all make mistakes big or small

      you have no room to make

      Such rude comments about a family….they

      Are already in a rough spot and don’t need

      Someone’s disrespectful remark to make them

      Feel worse…….”sociopathic”…. Like really…. I knew

      This family and they were forever nice and sweet

      To me…..put yourself in their shoes.

  2. Guest

    Ahahahahaha… stay on the homeowners board while in prision… that’s too funny…

  3. Guest

    She deserved a lot longer sentence. Hand it to her attorney for doing his job. It’s a shame she was able to pay him with the funds she received illegally. I hope the US Attorney continues investigating beyond 2007. They will find out that they just touched the surface.

  4. TheBestIsYetToCome

    No reason four that mess they created.

  5. Guest

    Teresa Rose was greedy and harmed a lots of buyers. The only reason for her being humble is that she was caught.

  6. Mike Celaya

    Sandy u r one of the only. Ones that know the truth!

  7. Guest

    Please do a follow-up story to confirm she actually has FINALLY begun serving her sentence after numerous postponements and IF the investigation into her activities has been closed or continues.
    Thank you.

    • guest

      Hey guest, I hear TR has donned the orange issue and the color quite agrees with her. She is looking good, doing her time and moving forward with life. It will all be over soon enough. Time heals all wounds and eventually everybody let's go and moves on. Despite what TR's haters think of her and her family, TR's family loves her and supports her unconditionally. She is fortunate to have a strong network of family and friends to get her through this time.

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