LOS ANGELES (CNS) — A longtime international fugitive who willingly returned to Los Angeles to face federal charges for his role in a multimillion-dollar bank swindle against Wells Fargo was sentenced to the nine months he already served behind bars.
Napoleon Olarte, 42, formerly of Reseda, was also ordered by US District Judge Christina Snyder to pay a share of $2.4 million in restitution and serve three years on supervised release, including six months of electronic monitoring.
Olarte was the third and final defendant charged in the mortgage fraud scheme. His two co-conspirators — Juan Jose Calle and Nancy Karina Coleman — pleaded guilty to federal charges and served brief prison sentences, prosecutors said.
According to court documents, Coleman worked as a mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo while Olarte and Calle ran Fast Escrow, a rogue brokerage and escrow company in Northridge.
Between August 2008 and January 2009, Coleman accepted bribes and other favors in exchange for approving millions in fraudulent loans for Olarte and Calle, prosecutors said.
Olarte submitted fake loan applications to Wells Fargo that contained false information for borrowers’ income, assets and employment. On some of the Wells Fargo-financed loans, Olarte failed to pay off existing loan holders and failed to record liens in favor of the bank, leaving Wells Fargo with no collateral when the loans defaulted, according to federal prosecutors.
“I not only feel regret and remorse but shame about the crime I committed,” Olarte told the judge during his sentencing hearing in downtown Los Angeles. “I apologize to Wells Fargo and my clients that were affected.”
Olarte said he returned to the United States “to face the consequences of what I did — without any promises.”
Olarte had lived in South America as a fugitive since 2011. He was indicted by a Los Angeles federal grand jury two years ago.
Shortly before he relocated with his family from Venezuela to Uruguay in November 2018, federal agents established contact and, after numerous conversations, Olarte agreed to surrender. He was arrested in March as he entered the United States at Miami International Airport.
Olarte’s attorney, David McLane, told the court that it was “remarkable” that his client had willingly returned to the US to resolve the case.