Thanks to Albert Pujols for sending this in:

kickbacksA former Fannie Mae sales associate who allegedly promised to provide listings to a real estate broker from the mortgage giant’s REO inventory in exchange for kickbacks has been indicted on three counts of wire fraud.

Armando Granillo, 44, worked out of Fannie Mae’s Irvine, Calif. office as a real-estate owned (REO) specialist, reviewing applications submitted by real estate brokers seeking to list properties foreclosed on and repossessed by Fannie Mae.

Late last year, federal prosecutors said Granillo asked a Tucson-based real estate broker to pay him a percentage of the commissions — later pegged at 20 percent — that the broker earned for selling Fannie Mae properties.

The broker alerted federal law enforcement officials, and during a meeting in February, Granillo travelled to Phoenix to meet with the broker, prosecutors said.

At the meeting, which was recorded by investigators, Granillo allegedly said kickbacks were “a natural part of business,” and arranged to receive an $11,200 payment from the broker.

Granillo was arrested on March 5 after allegedly accepting the payment from the real estate broker, who was working with investigators from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General.

Granillo was freed on $5,000 bond and is scheduled to be arraigned next month in U.S. District Court.

Each wire fraud count alleged in the indictment carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison, prosecutors with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said.

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