White collar catch: Loan fraudster one of 15 Sacramento County residents to be sentenced this year

Financial crimes from 2007 still circulating through court

A former Sacramento loan processor was sentenced last week for a host of fraud schemes that caused $2.7 million in losses to banks on the eve of the financial crisis.

Sergey Shchirskiy, 41, was arrested for a white-collar crime spree that lasted the better part of five years, though federal prosecutors say his most calamitous actions took place in 2007.

Shchirskiy was the target of a joint investigation by the FBI and IRS. According to U.S. Deputy District Attorney Phillip A. Talbert, Shchirskiy and a group of co-conspirators employed “straw buyers” to purchase properties that they could quickly take out equity lines of credit on, advancing the plot via fake documents and doctored statements. Prosecutors charged that Shchirskiy’s role in the conspiracy was to recruit straw buyers, as well as engineer bogus forms around income, employment and assets for those involved.

“All of the properties were foreclosed on,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.

Talbert also charged Shchirskiy with 80 attempts to obtain fraudulent tax returns, mainly by submitting claims through a number of stolen identities. The prosecutor said Shchirskiy was trying to net more than $660,000 in fraudulent returns. Shchirskiy ultimately pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud, wire fraud, tax fraud and identity theft. U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley sentenced him to seven years and 10 months in federal prison.

According to records from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Shchirskiy is one of 15 Sacramento County residents to be convicted of fraud in federal court so far this year.