Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that Joe Rodriguez a 42-year-old, resident of North Hollywood, was sentenced to seven years four months in state prison for stealing $730,000 from his former Moorpark employer, Private National Acceptance Mortgage Company LLC (PennyMac). Rodriguez was convicted of multiple felonies including grand theft and money laundering. This case was prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office Fraud and Technology Crimes Unit. 

Rodriguez was an in-house salaried employment recruiter for PennyMac. Between September 2017 and March 2019, Rodriguez set up a fake outside recruiting employment firm. Rodriguez then used PennyMac’s internal leads and funneled 65 prospective employees through the fraudulent company he controlled. In order to commit his fraud, Rodriguez communicated with PennyMac using a fake name and email account that concealed his identity. He also increased the commission rate on many of PennyMac’s hires without authorization. Rodriguez illegally collected approximately $730,000 in commissions from PennyMac through this scheme.

This case was investigated by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office (VCSO). During their investigation, VCSO seized $138,796 in stolen funds which will be applied toward victim restitution. Rodriguez was ordered to pay $800,000 in restitution to PennyMac which includes the amount stolen, as well as legal costs it incurred due to the theft.