California Real Estate Fraud Report

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04
Oct

Three Officers from California City Break Up Real Estate Fraud Ring

Three police officers with more tenacity and hard work than money pulled off busting a real estate fraud ring that involved identity theft and losses of over $1 million.

The California City Police Department has a staff of less than 20. But when Reserve Officers Michael Katz and Chris Christopher (now deceased), and Sgt. Jeff Takeda heard about a case in November 2008 in which an identity theft in Anaheim was used to purchase property in California City, they went to work.

According to Officer Katz, the defendants, who built six houses, did so “in a plummeting market, a market with no buyers. The (suspects) used a combination of what’s called straw buyers and identity theft victims to sell the houses to.” The builders found a cooperating appraiser, who “super-inflated” the valuation for the houses, giving the defendants excess proceeds to skim. The true values were less than half of the appraised amount, which the banks found out during their investigations.

The defendants are appraiser Nathaniel Acree, 65, of Long Beach; broker Jay Langer, 51, of San Juan Capistrano; Khalid Malik Abdul Ali, 60, of California City; Angie Cachu, 44, of Orange; and notary Elizabeth Torres, 28, of Santa Ana. All of them are in custody except Torres and Angie Cachu, whose whereabouts are unknown.

Referring to the three officers, Kern County Deputy District Attorney Gordon Isen noted, “They did an excellent job investigating the case and drafting the report.” Isen is prosecuting the case.

Read the original article in the Bakersfield Californian.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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