March 2nd, 2017 at 10:36am
Stephen Siringoringo, a Westminster attorney who targeted poor and Spanish-language victims in San Bernardino County in a loan modification fraud scheme, is going to prison for seven years and ordered to pay $108,000 in restitution.
Siringoringo, 35, who was disbarred in March 2015, pleaded guilty to to grand theft and money laundering for his role in the $44 million scam. He found his victims by advertising on radio and television and gaining their trust for his “mortgage relief” services by telling them he was an attorney.
San Bernardino County District Attorney officials said in the news release, “Siringoringo, in particular, preyed on the victims by using his position as an attorney to gain their trust and charge large unlawful upfront fees and monthly payments. Most of the victims never received any loan modification, and many who had lost their money with Siringoringo, Cobb and Clausen sought assistance through other means.”
The investigation was conducted by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office-Bureau Real Estate Fraud Unit. In addition to his conviction, Stephen Siringoringo was ordered by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) to provide $20,825,000 in restitution to victims outside of the county.
Read the original article in 24/7 and Highland News.
March 2nd, 2017 at 10:18am
Patrick Iturra, who was a partner in a firm called Mercury Business Group, has been sentenced to one year in jail after he was convicted of five counts of foreclosure consultant fraud and grand theft.
Mercury Business Group claimed to help homeowners who were having trouble paying their mortgages. According to prosecutors, there were eight documented victims, seven of whom lost their homes to foreclosure.
Read the original article in KCLU.
January 20th, 2017 at 11:13am
Fontana resident Jose Armando Rodriguez, 57, has pleaded guilty to grand theft, foreclosure consultant fraud and recording a false instrument.
Rodriguez, the owner and operator of Global Home Investments, told his five victims that he would save their homes from foreclosure, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Wold of the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office. Wold said that from 2010 to 2012 Rodriguez stole thousands of dollars from the victims, all located in the Oxnard area, but he never helped them.
When the victims later tried to short sell their homes, they found out that Rodriguez also filed false trust deeds and assignments of rent on their homes, all of which were lost to foreclosure.
Read the original article in the Ventura County Star.
December 8th, 2016 at 5:39pm
Patrick Iturra, 46, of Canyon Lake, pleaded guilty to two counts of foreclosure consultant fraud and three counts of felony grand theft, according to Ventura County prosecutors.
Iturra, who operated a business called Mercury Business Group, was accused of promising homeowners he could save their properties from foreclosure if they paid him upfront fees.
In addition to facing a possible jail sentence, Iturra “will be ordered to pay restitution to the victims,” say prosecutors.
Read the original article in the Ventura County Star.
October 28th, 2016 at 6:14am
Franklin Marquez, 52, has been sentenced to 4 to 12 years in prison for his involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme. He was convicted on one count of pattern of mortgage lending fraud, a category “B” felony.
Marquez and his co-defendants – Maria Lorena Anzu, Jose Ben Rodriguez and Gilberto Navidad , were alleged to have operated a criminal enterprise in Las Vegas called Majestic Group, LLC. Their pitch to distressed homeowners was that they could sell their homes to Majestic Group at market value and then the company would sell their homes back to them at lower, more affordable prices. The victims were charged upfront fees along with monthly payments.
Read the original article in News3LV.
October 21st, 2016 at 6:40am
Moses S. Hall, 60, a resident of Blackwood, New Jersey, has been arrested on federal charges of operating a mortgage modification scheme that defrauded more than 75 distressed homeowners in Orange County. Hall, who formerly had a law practice in Fullerton before he was disbarred in 2012, is being accused of inducing those homeowner to pay him for over $1.4 million in services that he allegedly never provided. The indictment is for 16 counts of fraud and tax offenses.
Among other claims, the indictment alleges Hall concealed from victims that he was using their money to pay for personal expenses and that he was a previously convicted felon who had served time in state prison in New Jersey prior to being admitted as an attorney in California. He told homeowners in distress to cease making their monthly mortgage payments and instead send the money to him for the purpose of negotiating with lenders. Some later lost their homes to foreclosure.
The charges stem from a probe by IRS Criminal Investigation, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the U.S. Secret Service. The Office of Chief Trial Counsel for the State Bar of California also provided assistance with the investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles E. Pell.
Read the press release on the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement website and the OC Register.
September 30th, 2016 at 7:46am
Victims of a Petaluma real estate agent whom prosecutors ripping off at least 100 persons in the Bay Area in an alleged mortgage fraud scam are outraged at the terms of his settlement with state prosecutors.
Miguel Angel Lopez-Soleta, 44, pleaded no contest to felony grand theft and embezzlement from an elderly person through his Rohnert Park business, Mortgage Modifiers, in 2012.
Lopez-Soleta will only serve one year in jail and receive five years of probation.
According to former client Robert Gillis, whose mother lost her Novato home to foreclosure because of Lopez-Soleta, “It’s totally unacceptable. None of the victims agree with it. They are so upset.”
Caroline S. Chen, the deputy attorney general handling the case for Attorney General Kamala D. Harris, did not return a call Thursday seeking comment.
The only good bit of news is that the real estate license of Miguel Angel Lopez-Soleta has been revoked by the California Bureau of Real Estate.
Read the full article in the Press Democrat.
September 30th, 2016 at 7:29am
Sixty-one-year-old Gregoria Mendoza was sentenced by Ventura Superior Court Judge Ryan Wright to seven years and four months in state prison after she pleaded guilty to multiple counts of grand theft and one count of foreclosure consultant fraud.
Mendoza, a resident of Oak View, was also ordered to pay over $470,000 in restitution to her victims.
Mendoza operated six or more real estate investment schemes according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, snagging investors from Ventura, Los Angeles and Tulare counties.
Read the full article in the VCStar / Ventura County Star.
August 10th, 2016 at 2:07pm
Bryan D’Antonio, 50, is the last of three co-defendants to confess to a conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud in a telemarketing scheme that ran from October 2008 and June 2009 and defrauded over 1,500 people out of about $9 million, according to a statement from Eileen Decker, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California.
D’Antonio was described by authorities as the owner and operator of the Rodis Law Group, aka America’s Law Group. His fellow defendants Charles Wayne Farris and Ronald Rodis have already pleaded guilty to the same charge.
Prosecutors said Rodis Law Group and America’s Law Group found their victims by placing radio advertisements claiming to negotiate lower-interest rates or principal balances by using their team of attorneys, when only Ronald Rodis was an attorney.
Read the original article in the OC Register. There a number of articles about this case that can be found by searching the California Real Estate Fraud Report.
July 28th, 2016 at 5:19am
LOS ANGELES — A federal judge granted default judgment against two married recidivists in Los Angeles who ran half a dozen phony debt relief businesses, including mortgage rescue, and ordered them to disgorge $2.3 million and other frozen assets.
The Federal Trade Commission settled with Tobias West and Komal West and their companies in May. The July 12 order from U.S. District Judge Otis Wright also bars the Wests and their companies from “representing the benefits or performance of a product or service unless it is not misleading and based on evidence,” and prohibits them from “profiting from consumers’ personal information and failing to dispose of it properly.”
The Wests and their companies, including Good EBusiness, Student Loan Help Direct, Select Student Loan, Select Student Loan Help, and Select Document Preparation charged up to $5,000 a pop for bogus student and home loan relief services, the FTC said in its sealed complaint in February. It said the Komals violated federal laws by “preying on financially struggling consumers and promising to make their mortgage or student loan payments substantially lower by renegotiating with their lender — but without ever having any intention of actually doing so.” the FTC claimed.
If they did bother to do anything, the Wests and their companies often posed as their clients and entered into forbearance deals with lenders, without telling the clients they did so, or that they would be on the hook for interest payments that for many clients totaled thousands of dollars, according to the FTC.
Read the entire article in Courthouse News and the Federal Trade Commission.