Published: Jun 20, 2012 10:29 PM EDT

LEE COUNTY, Fla.- Barbara M. Diaz, 37, of Lehigh Acres, pleaded guilty Wednesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and nine counts of wire fraud. Diaz faces a maximum penalty of 30 years in federal prison for each offense.

According to the plea agreement, by at least April, 2008 through October, 2008, Diaz conspired with others to defraud mortgage lenders by way of making false statements in HUD-1 settlement statements. As part of the scheme, Diaz, a licensed realtor, recruited home buyers to participate in the fraud. Lenders were led to believe that buyers made down payments at closing, when in fact, the buyers made no down payment and were paid money outside of closing for buying the home.

As a result of the scheme, Diaz and others caused the mortgage lenders to provide unqualified loan applicants in excess of $1 million collectively, towards the purchase of nine residential properties in Lehigh Acres. Diaz received commissions for the sale of the properties in exchange for her participation. Most of the properties have been foreclosed upon, which resulted in losses to the mortgage lenders.

This case was investigated by Office of Inspector General-Housing and Urban Development. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jesus M. Casas.