After a year on the run, former Orange County businessman Gerald R. Ramos, who is wanted on charges that he and six associates bilked dozens of banks out of $21 million in a complex real estate fraud, was arrested by Spanish police. a Last May, a federal grand jury indicted Ramos on 32 counts of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of stolen funds. He has been a fugitive since then.
Based on information provided to federal prosecutors, Ramos, 38, was traced to Cerona, Spain, according to Assistant U.S. Atty. Patricia L. Collins. Collins said she is preparing extradition papers for Ramos' return. His arrest on April 24 was revealed in federal court Monday.
Ramos, a former resident of Orange, was one of seven Southern California businessmen who allegedly prepared fraudulent appraisals to borrow $21 million from 21 mostly small savings and loans and banks across the country. The men borrowed the money to develop land in Chatsworth and Newhall, but testimony presented during a lengthy trial indicated that the defendants pocketed most of the funds.
In a related matter, the sentencing of John (Skip) Chodak, 43, of Laguna Hills, was postponed until June 15. Chodak previously pleaded guilty to six counts of wire fraud and one count of interstate transportation of funds obtained by fraud for his role in the scheme.