Isle businessman found guilty in mortgage fraud scheme
By Jim Dooley
Advertiser Staff Writer
A federal court jury deliberated just two hours yesterday before finding businessman John Mendoza guilty of multiple charges of fraud and failure to file income taxes.
Mendoza was among a group of defendants indicted in 2008 in an FBI investigation of mortgage fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Connors told the jury that Mendoza portrayed himself as a devout Christian who was trying to help his victims out of financial difficulties.
Mendoza prayed with his victims while he preyed on them, Connors said.
Defense attorney William Domingo said the guilty parties in the case were co-defendants of Mendoza who pleaded guilty and testified against him.
Jurors began deliberating in the case at 2 p.m. yesterday and returned two hours later with a verdict of guilt on all 22 criminal charges against Mendoza.
U.S. District Judge J. Michael Seabright ordered Mendoza taken into custody pending sentencing June 1.