Las Vegas man arrested in mortgage fraud case

A Las Vegas man was arrested Thursday after federal authorities accused him of defrauding distressed homeowners who were attempting to refinance or adjust their home mortgages.

The arrest of Alex Soria, 64, came a day after he was indicted on six counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, one count of concealment of information from the Social Security Administration, and one count of theft of government funds.

According to the indictment, Soria had worked in the mortgage lending industry since about 1970. He is accused of engaging in the fraudulent scheme from about May 2008 to January 2010.

Soria appeared Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Foley Jr. in Las Vegas and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was released on his own recognizance.

The indictment accuses Soria of falsely telling homeowners he was a loan officer with Amwest Capital and that he could help them obtain relief with their mortgages through two federal programs. The indictment also accuses him of falsely telling homeowners that he had helped others obtain financing.

“In truth, Soria’s Nevada mortgage agent license had expired in April 2008 and he lacked licensing or status to help the homeowners obtain financing through the federal programs,” according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Nevada.

Soria is accused of fraudulently collecting about $17,000 from 15 homeowners. He did not obtain government assistance for any of those victims, authorities said. The defendant also is accused of unlawfully collecting Social Security disability benefits from 1990 through 2010. His trial is scheduled for June 27.

Anyone with information about potential mortgage fraud in Nevada may call the Southern Nevada Mortgage Fraud Hotline at 584-5555.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710.

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