California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Elder Financial Fraud' Category

Appeals Court Upholds $23 Million Award for Disabled Siblings Defrauded by Contractor

March 17th, 2017 at 9:11am

This month California’s Second Appellate District, Division Two, Court of Appeal upheld an award (case no. BC495095) of $21 million in punitive damages and $2.2 million in compensatory damages against building contractor Noam Bouzaglou, and his shell corporation, Ness Adam, Inc. for defrauding siblings Kathleen McGinty and Tim McGinty, in order to obtain their 1948 home in Santa Monica.

Kathleen suffers from autism and Tim (now deceased) from bipolar disorder, depression and substance addiction.

After their garage was red-tagged by the City of Santa Monica in 2010, they hired Noam Bouzaglou to do the repairs. A series of events and meetings that occurred between Bouzaglou, attorney Andrew J. Stern and the McGintys that resulted in the latter transferring their home to Bouzaglou.

Jeanne Haworth, the trustee after Tim McGinty‘s death, found out that the home was in escrow for $1.55 million and contacted the original estate planning attorney Joe Girard of LA Elder Law, who filed a lawsuit to stop the sale.

“If this sale had gone through, $1.55 million could have disappeared overnight,” said Girard. “Once we got the real estate under control of the judge, Jeanne and Kathleen had more security.”

Read the original article in PRWeb and on the LA Elder Law website.

Newport Coast Man Charged in Financial Elder Abuse of 95-Year-Old Woman

February 17th, 2017 at 11:30am

Thomas Chapman Hood, a 68-year-old Newport Coast man, has been charged with financial elder abuse of a 95-year-old woman with dementia by the Orange County District Attorney’s Office. Specifically, the charges are 19 felony counts of forgery, one felony count of first degree residential burglary to commit larceny and financial elder abuse, and one felony count of theft from an elder, with sentencing enhancement allegations for non-accomplices being present during residential burglary, aggravated white collar crime over $500,000, and property loss of over $200,000

Chief of Staff Susan Kang Schroeder said Hood, who was employed part-time as an assistant to the trustee, allegedly forged the trustee’s signature on checks totaling $534,850 dollars between March 2015 and September 2016. It was the trustee who discovered the fraud when he tried to make a payment from the woman’s bank account to to her assisted living home which was denied due to insufficient funds.

Thomas Chapman Hood is a licensed real estate broker. Check his license status with the California Bureau of Real Estate.

Hood allegedly used the stolen money to pay for his personal expenses, including credit card bills and a 2-week vacation in Paris, France, according to the press release by the Orange County District Attorney.

Read the original article in The Patch and Behind the Badge OCSD.


East Palo Alto Woman Charged with Elder Abuse against Aunt’s Home

November 18th, 2016 at 10:46am

Shirley Venoya Remmert, 69, lived with her aunt home and provided care to the 96-year old.  The aunt, who suffered from mild cognitive impairment, signed a quitclaim deed to the house to Remmert, who then recorded the deed in January 2016. Remmert allegedly isolated the elderly woman from her family members, who then notified the bank of possible abuse. The bank in turn reported this to San Mateo County Adult Protective Services.

A later investigation by the Public Guardian’s Office, Adult Protective Services, and East Palo Alto Police revealed that Shirley Remmert withdrew somewhere between $40,000 and $80,000 from her aunt’s bank account without the elder woman’s knowledge or permission. Further, the aunt was not aware she signed a quitclaim deed and believed she still owned the house.

Read the original article in Palo Alto Online.

Elderly Thousand Oaks California Couple Face Eviction after Being Scammed by Grandson

July 29th, 2016 at 11:25am

Hank Kawecki and Helen Kawecki are about to be evicted from their home of 56 years.

Chadd Moore, their grandson, offered to “help” his grandparents two years ago when they needed a loan. He proposed they put their house in his name while he supported them financially for the rest of their lives.

Moore then mortgaged the property and defaulted on the almost $500,000 he took out on three loans. He purportedly spent all the money in Las Vegas.

Neighbor Doug Emerson has been helping the Kaweckis and has started a GoFundMe page to pay for legal fees to fight the eviction, which has been stayed for 60 days by a judge.

Read the original article in the New York Daily News.

Protesters March to Doorsteps of Real Estate Firm to Save ‘Thug Mansion’

July 27th, 2016 at 8:23am

Protesters hoping to help save an elderly woman’s home blocked off the entrance to Vanguard Properties at 21st and Mission streets on July 16. The home, located at 117 Ripley Street in Bernal Heights, is the subject of a sale an eviction by one of Vanguards real estate agents.

The protesters accused real estate agent Shelley Trew of “fraud, elder abuse, and greed” for coercing the 76-year-old owner of the house  into signing over the rights to her family home in 2013. According to and article in  Mission Local, “The elderly woman, they said, signed the contract after Trew offered to help her ‘find out how much her house is worth,’ but was unaware that its stipulations included the sale and evictions of herself and some nine tenants.”



Nationstar, Celink Sued for Fraud in Reverse Mortgage Inspections

June 2nd, 2016 at 12:26pm

Champion Mortgage Co., also known as Nationstar Mortgage, LLC, is the target of a class-action lawsuit accusing it of ordering excessive home inspections for elderly homeowners.

While home inspections are allowed as much as every 30 days, the plaintiffs’ attorneys allege that Champion Mortgage used automated software (blame the computer) to order its subcontractor, Celink, to perform home inspections several times a week and even more than once in the same day. The homeowner is charged for these inspections. Celink, also known as Compu-Link Corp., is based in Michigan and is also named as a defendant.

The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by Tycko & Zavareei, the National Consumer Law Center and AARP‘s Legal Counsel for the Elderly.

Read the original article in the Chicago Tribune.


Realtor-Funded “Reverse Mortgage” for Elderly Woman Now a Lawsuit

April 27th, 2016 at 7:55am

Barulich Dugoni Law Group is representing an elderly Menlo Park woman in a lawsuit against a Realtor®.

Alexandra Banis, an attorney with the firm, says Robert Leitao  gained an interest in the home of Gunhild B. Bogue after he took advantage of her when she was facing foreclosure last year.

San Mateo has an Elder and Dependent Adult Protection Team that consists of representatives from the county’s Health System, District Attorney’s Office, County Counsel and private law firms, such as Barulich Dugoni.

Bogue is an 89-year-old whose estate is now under the conservatorship of the San Mateo County Public Guardian. The lawsuit alleges Leitao contacted Bogue after the property was listed as in foreclosure. He allegedly drafted several documents  such as a will, deed of trust and loan agreement and offered to pay her mortgage while allowing her to remain in the home until she died in exchange for her to deed him the property worth an estimated $1.4 million. According to Banis, Bogue signed the documents under duress.

Leitao denies the allegations and said he saved Bogue’s property, which was just days away from foreclosure and had amassed almost $800,000 worth of debt and a mortgage that hadn’t been paid in years.

Read the original article in the San Mateo Daily Journal.

Fremont Real Estate Agent Sentenced to Jail for Elder Financial Abuse

March 31st, 2016 at 3:45pm

Jeremiah Bishop, a Fremont real estate agent, has been sentenced to a year in county jail and ordered to pay more than $400,000 in restitution following his guilty plea to charges alleging elder financial abuse and grand theft regarding real estate.

According to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Bishop, 74, who pleaded guilty before his trial commenced, told his victims that he was a commercial real estate investor with a partner beginning in 2006. But there was no partner and the properties for which Bishop sought investors were not for sale.

Read the original article in the San Jose Mercury News.


Monterey Woman Sentenced for Financial Elder Abuse

March 11th, 2016 at 12:30pm

A woman entrusted with managing an 82-year-old Pacific Grove man’s properties in addition to his care received 180 day sentence to jail and three years probation.

Ilagene “Jeanie” Quaglia was convicted of felony elder abuse after authorities alleged she had skimmed the man’s rental checks, overcharged for items and services on the rental properties and writing herself checks for unauthorized purposes.

Ilagene “Jeanie” Quaglia was charged with stealing from an 82-year-old Pacific Grove man who she cared for and managed his rental properties.

Read the original article in KSBW.

Assemblywoman Young Kim introduces AB 1718 to protect elderly from financial abuse crimes

February 5th, 2016 at 9:25am

Assemblywoman Young Kim (R-Fullerton) introduced AB 1718 to strengthen seniors’ protections against financial abuse by giving judges the option to sentence criminals convicted of felony financial elder abuse to state prison instead of the current option of only county jail.

“We have an obligation to protect the most vulnerable in our society, and our senior citizens are regularly targeted for financial abuse,” said Kim. “By sending these criminals to state prison, we send a message that we have zero tolerance for these crimes and that we are serious about bringing these people to justice and about protecting our seniors.”

Since the state enacted Governor Jerry Brown’s prison reform, also known as Realignment, county jails have seen an influx of inmates who previously would have served their terms in state prison. This has led to overcrowding and, in some cases, early release of inmates who still pose a danger to society.

“I’m committed to fighting to improve public safety and protect California’s seniors,” said Kim. “By sending these criminals to prison, we can end slap-on-the wrist punishments for doing the unconscionable – preying on the savings of seniors.”

Kim represents the 65th Assembly District, which includes the communities of Anaheim, Buena Park, Cypress, Fullerton, La Palma, and Stanton.

This article was released by the Office of Assemblywoman Young Kim.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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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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