Ventura County District Attorney Press Release - January 26, 2005
District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that the Consumer and Environmental Protection Unit filed a 27-count felony complaint against Edgar Mauricio Berrazueta aka Edgar Mauricio Berrazueta Gonzalez (DOB 10/8/61), an Ecuadorian national residing in Camarillo, charging him with grand theft, forgery, manufacture of false identification documents, attempting to dissuade witnesses, and special allegations under the aggravated white-collar crime statute, and excessive-takings enhancements. Ventura County Superior Court Judge Kevin McGee issued a temporary restraining order freezing Berrazueta’s assets and properties so that they may be used to pay criminal fines and restitution to victims upon Berrazueta’s conviction.
Berrazueta is employed as an assistant loan officer by Pacific First Bancorp in
When Berrazueta later became aware that some of his customers were cooperating with the District Attorney’s investigation, he went to their homes or place of work and pressured them not to pursue charges against him.
Some of the loans arranged by Berrazueta were supposed to be “cash-out” refinances. However, Berrazueta concealed this fact from the homeowners, intercepted their cash-out checks, and deposited them (in amounts up to $15,000) into his own bank accounts by forging their signatures on the checks.
During the execution of a search warrant at Berrazueta’s residence, several fraudulently manufactured social security cards were obtained. Berrazueta admitted to manufacturing these cards to enable him and others to misrepresent their status as