UPDATE: U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney must have made Mariscal the happiest man in Santa Ana today when he granted his wish to avoid a minute in prison for his crimes. Carney ordered him to serve three years of supervised probation and pay restitution.
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ORIGINAL POST, June 4: Saying he's repentant for filing false mortgage documents resulting in the loss of more than $763,000 in 2005 and 2006, Southern California real estate agent Mario Alberto Mariscal hopes that U.S. District Court Judge Cormac J. Carney goes easy on him this week at a sentencing hearing in Santa Ana.
In a pre-sentencing report, federal probation officials believe Mariscal's crimes deserve a minimum 30-month prison sentence.
But, according to court records, the defendant believes the punishment is too harsh because he claims he has cooperated with federal investigators probing for additional suspects.
Mariscal is also making a novel argument: He "will be more vulnerable to victimization or abuse in prison due to his slight build and youthful appearance."
"Other than the employment related to the current charges, he has been an honest, hardworking and gainfully employed man his entire life," defense lawyer David R. Cohen wrote in a brief for the judge. "Taxpayer money should not be spent on keeping a man incarcerated who knows the extent of the harm he did and is willing to take any steps necessary to rectify the situation."
Between Dec. 2005 and Oct. 2006 in Orange and Los Angeles counties, Mariscal used the U.S. Postal Service to mail deeds of trust based on fraudulent mortgage applications that contained inflated incomes and other false information about residential home buyers who weren't qualified for loans, according to a federal grand jury indictment.
Mariscal--who was born in 1977 and has prior convictions for dishonestly using a parking placard for the disabled and for reckless driving--originally pleaded not guilty, but admitted his guilt last September in hopes of winning a lenient punishment.
He is scheduled to learn his fate at an 11 a.m. hearing inside the Ronald Reagan Federal Courthouse.