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Border Patrol agent, Navy SEAL plead guilty in mortgage fraud

March 1, 2012 |  6:28 pm

A Border Patrol agent, a Navy SEAL and their wives have pleaded guilty to fraud charges involving exaggerating their income to refinance their home mortgages, the U.S. attorney in San Diego announced Thursday.

Border Patrol agent Al Siapno, 35, and his wife, Leila, 35, of San Diego pleaded guilty to wire fraud involving refinancing their home in the exclusive 4S Ranch development.

Navy SEAL David Berkenfield, 32, and his wife, Kristin, 31, pleaded guilty to conspiring to make false statements to a federally insured institution to refinance a mortgage, also in 4S. The couple now live in Virginia Beach, Va.

The Berkenfields falsely stated that Kristin's income was $41,000 a month when it was actually no more than $300 a month, prosecutors said.

Al Siapno is set to be sentenced in May; Leila Siapno in March 2013. Kristin Berkenfield is set to return to court in May, and David Berkenfield in December, prosecutors said.

Fraud charges have a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

In the last five months, 21 people have pleaded guilty in San Diego federal court in mortgage-related fraud cases.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

 

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