Another Crisp & Cole defendant pleads guilty

FRESNO, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) Another defendant pleaded guilty Wednesday in the ongoing Crisp & Cole Associates real estate fraud case.

The U.S. Attorney's office in Fresno said 32-year-old Jeriel Salinas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud. He's one of 15 defendants in the case.

Former Bakersfield real estate moguls Carl Cole and David Crisp were accused of scamming millions of dollars out of banks and mortgage companies between 2004 and 2007. They allegedly submitted fraudulent loan applications with material misrepresentations.

Most of the defendants, including Cole, have now entered guilty pleas, though Crisp is still scheduled for trial next year.

According to his plea agreement, Salinas knowingly caused numerous fraudulent loan applications to be submitted to lenders. He knowingly purchased at least six properties as a straw buyer in Bakersfield and Shaver Lake. Salinas served as the real estate broker and received commissions for some of the fraudulent transactions.

Salinas faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.