A U.S. district judge issued two arrest warrants yesterday for an Oahu couple convicted of mortgage fraud after they did not show up for their sentencing.
The couple—John Dimitrion and Julie Anne Baldueza Dimitrion—were scheduled to be sentenced on charges that they ran a fraudulent mortgage scheme that almost left three Oahu families homeless.
"No matter what is going to happen, we hope that they can be found," said U.S. District Judge Susan Oki Mollway. "The longer we don’t know where they are … the worse the situation becomes."
Attorneys for the Dimitrions said they were not aware that their clients planned to miss the hearing. Both attorneys said they feared that the Dimitrions were depressed and at risk of suicide.
"We’re dismayed at her nonappearance," said attorney Myles Breiner, who represented Julie Anne Dimitrion. "Her family is concerned for her safety and the safety of her husband."
Breiner told Mollway that he was concerned that the couple was becoming depressed in the months leading up to yesterday’s hearing and were worried about what their sentences might be.
Under a plea agreement struck in April 2009, John Dimitrion pleaded guilty to one charge each of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and making false statements on loan applications. He faced a maximum of 45 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
Julie Anne Dimitrion entered into a similar deal, pleading guilty to everything her husband did, except wire fraud. She faced a maximum of 30 years behind bars and $1.25 million in fines.
The Dimitrions admitted to offering to help homeowners facing foreclosure by arranging fraudulent loans for straw buyers for the homes. The couple—owners of Mortgage Alliance LLC and Global Financial Holdings LLC—then drained equity from the properties and tried to evict the homeowners. The Dimitrions also skimmed off thousands of dollars in processing fees from the loans.
The Dimitrions worked with employees of their two financial firms to secure loans for three houses—two in Ewa Beach and one in Kapolei—between June 2005 and May 2007. The loans totaled more than $1 million.
According to First Assistant U.S. Attorney Elliot Enoki, federal prosecutors requested that John Dimitrion be held as a flight risk before he was released on bail last year, but were denied.
Dimitrion’s father, who was present at yesterday’s sentencing, said he received a voice message from his son over the weekend saying that he would be gone for a while. Dimitrion did not, however, reveal where he was headed, his father said.