California Real Estate Fraud Report

You have just entered the #1 private-sector resource on the Internet for real estate fraud. In doing so, you have voluntarily left the dimension of the conventional real estate world and crossed over to the Dark Side, the realm where greed, dishonesty and evil are the order of the day. Sign up for a free subscription to this comprehensive news resource and receive weekly, timely news reports about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, title fraud, loan fraud, appraisal fraud, affinity fraud, loan modification scams, securities fraud and elder financial fraud.

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.

 

Virginia Federal Jury Convicts 3 Orange County Residents in Mortgage Modification Scheme

May 11th, 2017 at 3:37pm

Three Orange County residents have been convicted by a federal jury in Virginia of cheating hundreds of people out of $10 million or possibly more.

Sammy Araya, 41, of Santa Ana, Michael Henderson, 49, of Costa Mesa, and Jen Seko, 36, of Anaheim are facing length prison sentences for operating a nationwide mortgage modification scam.

Federal prosecutors said that the victims had contacted Seko Direct Marketing, and were falsely told that their mortgage modifications would be approved if they paid thousands of dollars in fake “reinstatement fees” or “trial mortgage-modification payments.”

All three defendants face long prison sentences. Nine others from Orange County and Las Vegas had previously pleaded guilty for their participation.

Read the original article in the OC Register.

 

New York Attorney Sentenced to 4 Years for Short Sale Fraud Scheme

May 11th, 2017 at 3:27pm

New York attorney Helene Stetch, 53, of Lindenhurst, has been sentenced Wednesday to  a prison term of 16 months to four years, according to a press release by the Queens County District Attorney.  In a novel form of short sale fraud, Stetch was accused of selling homes to new owners without paying off both the existing mortgages and obtaining approval from all lien holders.

The homeowners who thought they were conducting legitimate short sales were later surprised to receive foreclosure notices.

Stetch had worked at the law office of Kenneth Schwartz at Carle Place in New York and wrote most of the disbursement checks, which Schwartz, 67, signed.

Helene Stetch executed eight confessions of judgment totaling about $2.3 million, while Kenneth Schwartz executed confessions of judgment in favor of two homeowners totaling about $129,000.

Read the original article in the ABA Journal.

Vallejo Man Gets 10 Years in Prison for Stealing $10 Million

May 11th, 2017 at 3:13pm

Karim Akil, 50, was sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and money laundering.

Akil was first indicted in 2009, entered a guilty plea as part of a plea deal in 2012 but according to prosecutors defrauded more people in 2012 and 2013 while waiting to be sentenced.

In a press release, Michael T. Batdorf, an IRS special agent in charge in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, said “Mr. Akil enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, with outrageous expenditures. Akil left a path of destruction, from properties that went into default and foreclosure, to straw buyers whose credit was ruined, to an escrow company that went out of business.”

Read the original article in the Fairfield Daily Republic.

 

REFAT Has Emerged As a Hope for the Victims of Real Estate Crime in Ventura County

May 5th, 2017 at 9:31am

Ventura County, CA, USA – May 4, 2017 – Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team [REFAT] has made an appeal to the residents of Ventura County, California to be aware of the real estate related scams and frauds. REFAT takes a request to the general public and has asked them to report anyone who does fraud related to the matters of property, particularly the fraudulent realtors of the county. REFAT’s program outreaches to escrow companies, lenders, real estate agents, title companies & other such pros from the industry.

“We are waging a war against fraudulent realtors and we want a scam-free, transparent and reasonable property in the Ventura County,” said Jim Keith, the Chair and Founder of REFAT. “We aim to prevent, detect and report the real estate frauds happening in our county to ensure a scam-free realty,” he added. Several individuals and groups have already been arrested due to the actions taken against them by Ventura County district attorney fraud unit. REFAT wants the county as well as the state to be free from scams and rip-offs. The worst bit is that the victims are mostly senior citizens and people with modest English-speaking abilities.

Criminals, felons and scammers such as Patrick Iturra, Rod Scott Hormell, Michael McDevitt, Joe Garcia and several others were arrested and sentenced up to 10 years due to the efforts of Ventura County district attorney fraud unit and REFAT. These fraudsters have ripped off the residents for millions of dollars. In a nutshell, REFAT has come up with a promise to prevent, detect and report real estate fraud in the County as they also provides tools & resources that help to effectively spot the warning signals of real estate scam so that the fraud can be avoided beforehand.

To report a crime, a real estate fraud or a fraudulent realtor, please visit www.refat.org

Media Contact
Company Name: Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team [REFAT]
Contact Person: Jim Keith
Email: Justin@vent2wire.com
Phone: (805) 432 5843
Country: United States
Website: www.REFAT.org

 

San Mateo County Gets Aggressive in Chasing Real Estate Fraud, Mortgage Fraud

May 5th, 2017 at 9:24am

According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is going to be aggressively investigating people attempting to take out fraudulent liens on a property (title fraud), trying to con the elderly out of their homes (elder financial abuse, elder financial fraud) or anyone falsifying real estate documents.

With a new $3 document recording fee and property values rising, the County Board of Supervisors set up a Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund that will be used to investigate criminals.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe and his office have received almost 300 complaints of real estate fraud since 2014.

Upland Woman Convicted in Real Estate Fraud Case

May 5th, 2017 at 8:53am

Upland resident Barbara Rae Bratton, 58 was convicted of 6 counts of real estate fraud on April 14.

Bratton, who lost her home to foreclosure, was investigated by the Ontario Police Department on suspicion of filing two false grant deeds with the San Bernardino County Recorder’s Office on a house in the 900 block of Locust Street in Ontario.

After the foreclosure, the home was legally purchased to new buyers, according to District Attorney Sr. Investigation John Vega.
Read the original article in the Highland Community News.

Three From Long Island Arrested In $1 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

May 5th, 2017 at 8:45am

Nine people were indicted, and three arrested for an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that included some short sale fraud purchases. The scheme spanned two boroughs of New York City and resulted in more than $1 million in fraudulent gains.

The persons arrested were Janelle Defreitas, 37, of Uniondale; Lester Wayne Mackey, 63, of Wyandanch; and Darren Downes, 36, of Baldwin. Also named in the indictment were Raymond McKayle, 53, of East Flatbush; Jaipaul Persaud, 54, of Fresh Meadows; Roxanne Harmon, 51, of Jamaica; June Whyte, 54, of Ozone Park; Rickley Gregoire, 33, of Brooklyn; and Paula Blackwood-Sambury, 50, of Cambria Heights.

“Our investigation uncovered a brazen and elaborate scheme to defraud mortgage lenders and steal over $1 million,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “We have zero tolerance for anyone who tries to cheat the system — and we won’t hesitate to bring them to justice.”

Ironically, Roxanne Harmon is an investigator for the New York City Department of Investigation. One of the properties involved was apparently her own.

Read the original article, which includes the charges and details of the alleged mortgage fraud scheme, in The Patch.

 

Monterey County District Attorney’s Office Seeking Victims in Real Estate Fraud Case

April 21st, 2017 at 8:40am

The Monterey County District Attorney’s Office has indicted two men it is accusing of charging people upfront fees for non-existent loans in Salinas.

The allegations are that Jose Tomas-Silva and Mark Gallegos marketed real estate brokerage services that required the prospective clients to pay advance fees for residential properties that were not for sale

Read the original article in The Californian.

© 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.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of BRIEF QUOTATIONS in a review.

BLOG POWERED BY SHARP BIZ IMAGE

Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.