2008-09-19: Washington Mutual loaned millions to OC home flippers
In July 2007, Vijay and Supriti Soni of Corona del Mar paid $440,000 for a home at 2129 W. Civic Center Drive in Santa Ana.
Five weeks later, they resold the house to Javier Hernandez – the family gardener and handyman – for $660,000. That's a 50 percent gain in 38 days – at a time when real estate prices in Santa Ana were plunging.
Records show that Washington Mutual, America's largest savings and loan and one of its most precariously perched lending institutions, financed at least 43 mortgages worth $24.5 million on properties bought and sold by members of the Soni family since early 2007.