By Nels Johnson
The Marin Independent Journal
A former Marin mortgage broker was sentenced to 41 months in prison for her role in a Ponzi scheme in which investors were swindled, federal prosecutors said.
Diane Cobb pleaded guilty to “running a fraudulent scheme with co-defendant Paul Sloane Davis through which they profited by more than a million dollars,” according to a statement issued by acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch in San Francisco. Her sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer.
Cobb, 58, of Ada, Ohio, was indicted in 2013 for helping operate DM Financial in Marin from 2009 to 2012. The firm purported to offer investors an investment in “bridge loans” for those who needed short-term financing for real estate purchases. Authorities said those listed as borrowers received no money and were unaware their identities were used to solicit loans.
Federal officials said Cobb admitted she falsely told investors the bridge loans would be secured by residential property and that they would receive regular interest payments and a return of principal. “Further, Cobb admitted that to convince the borrowers that the loans were legitimate, she prepared fake promissory notes and deeds of trust for the purported bridge loan agreements that she knew did not exist,” the government said. “Instead, Davis and Cobb diverted substantially all the money — approximately $2.4 million — for their own personal use or to make interest payments to prior investors.”
Cobb pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy, four counts of mail fraud, and nine counts of wire fraud. Davis pleaded guilty to the same charges and earlier was sentenced to 36 months in prison.
The defendants were indicted by a federal jury in 2013 and arrested in Las Vegas. —— (c)2016 The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) Visit The Marin Independent Journal (Novato, Calif.) at www.marinij.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. AMX-2016-01-16T00:01:00-05:00