California Real Estate Fraud Report

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‘We Buy Ugly Houses’ Franchise Owner Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors

June 23rd, 2017 at 6:08pm

Karen Lynn McClaflin, 58, who ran a franchise affiliated with the “We Buy Ugly Houses” real estate chain has pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges in connection to her own business, called Homesource Partners Inc.

McClaflin, of Colorado Springs, wass charged with one count of wire fraud and one count of engaging in a monetary transaction in property derived from wire fraud. She had been accused by the U.S. Attorney’s Office running a scheme in which her investors unknowingly supported the debt she incurred buying real estate. She had also been accused of forging her investors’ signatures and of failing to return the principal of their investments when the homes were sold.

Read the original article in The Denver Channel.

Woman Pleads No Contest in Craigslist Rent Fraud

June 23rd, 2017 at 8:29am

A woman pleaded no contest to a felony grand theft charge for taking deposits for rental property she did not own.

The Salinas Police Department had received multiple complaints from people saying that Veronica Lopez was posing as the owner of a Salinas property which was advertised in Craigslist. Lopez took a $1,000 deposit from one prospective renter, who later became suspicious and verified that she was not the owner.

Veronica Lopez was prosecuted by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office.  Deputy District Attorney John Hubanks from the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and District Attorney Investigator Alicia Cox handled the case.

Read the original article in The Salinas Californian.


Sacramento Man Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Csae

June 16th, 2017 at 8:43am

Sergey Shchirskiy, 41, a loan processor in Sacramento, has been sentenced to seven years and 10 months in prison for his role in two mortgage fraud schemes and one tax fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Between April and November 2007, Shchirskiy and his co-conspirators purchased properties with straw buyers and took out home equity lines of credit using fraudulent documents and statements that Shchirskiy created. He also recruited the straw buyers and the loan applications he submitted contained untrue information about the buyers’ income, assets and intent to occupy the houses.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

Former Employees Sue American Financial Corp., Claim Retaliatory Firing for Exposing Fraud

June 16th, 2017 at 8:08am

Four former employees of American Financial Corp. have filed a whistleblower lawsuit, accusing the company of firing them after they attempted to expose AFC’s alleged mortgage fraud.

The plaintiffs are Chris Springer, Steffen Mehnert and Sandra Reynolds, who were mortgage consultants, and Stacia Springer, a pre-qualification specialist. They say they were fired after they reported their concerns to management in March 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that the company intentionally falsified loan information, faked signatures, withheld negative financial information about an applicant and faked compliance with key deadlines.

American Financing issued a statement to The Denver Post, saying it will defend itself “vigorously against this meritless lawsuit and the false allegations …”

JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Flagstar Bank and PennyMac, were the banks allegedly defraud according to the lawsuit, as well as the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Read the original article in The Denver Post.


New Mexico Attorney General Accuses California Real Estate Groups, Individuals of Fraud

June 9th, 2017 at 10:22am

New Mexico Attorney General Hector H. Balderas filed a complaint in February in U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico against the following businesses and persons: Real Estate Law Center PC, Erikson M. Davis, Deepak S. Parwatikar, Chad T. Pratt, The Balanced Legal Group, and Pinnacle Law Center PC.

The AG alleges that the defendants solicited homeowners into participating in a merit-less mass joinder actions without understanding the ramifactions.

U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico case number 1:17-cv-00251-KBM-SCY.

Read the original article in Legal News Line.

Fresno Homeowner Sues Wells Fargo for Fraud

June 7th, 2017 at 7:46pm

A Fresno County property owner is accusing several financial institutions of fraud.

Vargha Eshraghi, a Fresno County property owner, filed a complaint against Wells Fargo Bank NA on May 5 in the Fresno County Superior Court. Wachovia Mortgage, Clear Recon Corp., and Does 1-100 are also named, alleging breach of contract, fraud and other counts.

According to the complaint, Eshraghi alleges that the defendants represented to him that he qualified for a loan modification and that the bank then failed to cooperate with the effort.
Eshraghi is seeking a judgment against the above defendants, restraining and enjoining them from conducting any foreclosure sale of plaintiff’s property, award of attorney’s fees, costs and any other appropriate relief. His attorney is Hoa Van Tran of Hoa Van Tran PLC in Garden Grove.

Fresno County Superior Court Case number 17CECG01580

Read the original article in the Northern California Record.

Fake Attorney Arraigned by OCDA for Mortgage Modification Scams

May 26th, 2017 at 7:33am

James Frank Barker, 57, Newport Beach was arraigned on May 17 for impersonating an attorney and defrauding several clients through debt consolidation and mortgage modification schemes.

Read the press release by the Orange County District Attorney.

Elderly Nurse Fights Eviction, Says Home was Wrongfully Foreclosed

May 26th, 2017 at 7:23am

Poonsook Brainangkul is a 69-year-old nurse who believes her loan servicer, Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. and investor Volantis Global Inc.,  are wrongfully trying to evict her from her home of 20 years.

Her attorney, Yelena Gurevich, is asking that the Los Angeles Superior Court declare a case of mortgage fraud to reverse the illegal foreclosure and sale of her home, which resulted from dual tracking. Thus far, her attorneys have appeared before the court more than 13 times in the span of 6 months, fighting both companies to stop her eviction.

In California, foreclosure laws are in place to stop lenders from illegally foreclosing and selling a person’s home when they are actively working to modify their loan and repay the lender in times of hardship.

Read the press release in Digital Journal to learn more about the case.


Steve Mnuchin’s Former Bank Pays $89 Million to Settle Reverse Mortgage Claims

May 19th, 2017 at 10:05am

Reverse mortgage company Financial Freedom of Austin, Texas, has agreed to pay $89 million to settle claims that it misused a federal home insurance program, which was under investigation by federal officials.

The payment closes a U.S. government investigation into its practice of allegedly accelerating home foreclosures without following the requirements of the Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements. Mnuchin led a group of investors that bought IndyMac Bank and its Financial Freedom unit in 2009. The investors realized a large profit when they reorganized IndyMac, based in Pasadena, Calif., as OneWest Bank.

Sandra Jolley, the Oxnard, California, consumer advocate and whistleblower, was awarded $1.6 million of the settlement, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, which announced the settlement Tuesday.

Read the original article in NBC News.


Senior couple accuses wife’s daughter of elder financial abuse

May 19th, 2017 at 9:49am

A senior couple are accusing a relative of fraud and elder abuse.

Senior citizens Nellie Bertucci and Robert Bertucci filed a complaint on April 5 in the San Francisco County Superior Court against  Nellie’s daughter, Angelique Tavares and Does 1 to 50. The complaint alleges elder financial abuse, fraud and other counts related to Tavares convincing her mother to transfer her interest in the Bertucci’s property to Tavares and then not returning it when the parents asked.

Read the original article in the Northern California Record.


© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

Legal Disclaimer.

The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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