February 11, 2013 | 7:00am
Kenny Rojas never attended college, but he operated what appeared to be an honest mortgage-brokerage company in Orange and Los Angeles counties, First Liberty Wholesale Lending Inc.
But Rojas' superficial success masked cheating.
The Orange County man routinely created fake bank documents to inflate incomes for home loan applicants, according to records at the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse in Santa Ana.
FBI agents ended the scam when they arrived with questions at Rojas' home in May 2008.
In December 2009, a federal grand jury issued a three-count indictment against Rojas for conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and aiding and abetting in financial crimes causing more than $1 million in losses.
Rojas initially pleaded not guilty, but in 2010, he accepted a plea-bargain deal admitting to the conspiracy count to get the other two charges dropped and asked for no prison time--a request bolstered by the fact he cooperated with the FBI-, including without legal representation--during the criminal investigation that sent another man, Eduardo Ruiz, to prison for 108 months.
Federal prosecutors did not want the public to know their stance on Rojas' punishment; they got their position sealed.
But this month, U.S. District Court Judge David O. Carter sentenced Rojas, 34, to undergo three years of probation and pay a $100 special assessment.