A former Seeno employee pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to paying bribes to a mortgage broker to help secure home loans for homebuyers, according to federal prosecutors.
Jason Sterlino, 34, of Hercules -- a former sales manager with Discovery Sales, a branch of the Concord-based Seeno home building empire -- is the second former Seeno employee to take a deal with prosecutors in exchange for cooperating with the FBI in its ongoing investigation of the company.
Sterlino managed new home sales for two Oakland housing developments -- the Monte Vista Estates and Monte Vista Villas -- and agreed in 2007 to pay a mortgage broker $30,000 for every loan funded, prosecutors said. The kickback would secure loans for unqualified buyers through falsified applications, allowing the developer to move homes in a struggling market. Sterlino and the other participants would split the $30,000, the U.S. attorney's office said.
About 20 loans were funded by Bank of America as a result of the scheme, with Sterlino pocketing about $100,000 in cash, according to federal prosecutors.
Sterlino, who was charged with one count of bank bribery, is free on bail and will be sentenced Oct. 24. He faces 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
In March, Carey Hendrickson, a top sales executive with Discovery Sales, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in exchange for her cooperation in the federal probe.
Contact Matthias Gafni at 925-952-5026. Follow him at Twitter.com/mgafni.