California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Foreclosure fraud' Category

Ojai woman sentenced in foreclosure fraud, short sale fraud case

July 22nd, 2015 at 3:15pm

Ojai  resident Nelly Luz Rubiano has been sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Hirsch to one year in county jail. The 58-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to charges of felony grand theft and foreclosure consultant fraud.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Wold argued that Rubiano presented herself to her fellow Hispanics as a specialist in loan modifications and referred people to Foreclosure Legal Services, located in the city of Orange. As with the Herrera prosecution (also by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, click here to read), victims were promised their homes would be purchased and sold back to them at a reduced price and they were illegally charged advance/upfront fees for services that were not delivered.

Read the original article in MyInforms.com

 

Twin brother of man serving time for real estate fraud, foreclosure fraud pleads not guilty

July 16th, 2015 at 6:23pm

Juan Herrera, 38, already sentenced for a foreclosure fraud scheme he operated with his twin brother, Michael, is being prosecuted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office for related crimes.

Michael pleaded out to the same prosecuting office and is spending the year in jail.

The twins advertised foreclosure services through Spanish-language media, promising homeowners in distress that they would purchase their homes, rent them back to the owners and later re-sell them the homes at reduced prices. According to Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Wold, the victims, most of whom spoke little or no English, were charge thousands of dollars in advance/upfront fees in order to participate in the defendants’ programs. Advance fees are illegal in the state of California.

Read the original article in the Ventura County Star.

 

 

Victims in San Diego foreclosure fraud case get $800,000

July 9th, 2015 at 10:43am

The San Diego County District Attorney’s Office announced that it has obtained more than $800,000 in restitution for 121 victims of a foreclosure fraud operated by William Hutchings.

The case, which was prosecuted in 2009, consisted of 10 defendants. Hutchings was convicted of 160 felony charges and the remaining defendants pleaded guilty to conspiracy and theft-related charges.

The defendants acquired over 400 grant deeds to residences in foreclosure by telling their victims that their “federal land grant program” would keep lenders from foreclosing. In addition to getting title, the defendants also charged the homeowners a $10,000 payment to participate in their program.

Read the original article in San Diego 6.

Attorney-imposter pleads guilty in Orange County foreclosure rescue fraud

July 9th, 2015 at 10:28am

A 30-year-old Costa Mesa woman is facing federal prison time after pleading guilty mail fraud and aggravated identity theft in regard to a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme she operated.

According to prosecutors Najia Jalan targeted homeowners with false promises of mortgage relief through legal representation. She used business names such as the National Legal Help Center, United National Mortgage Protection Center, OC NonProfit and American Consumer Law Center to fool her victims into paying (illegal) advance fees ranging from $1,000 to $10,000.

For her affiliation with the National Legal Help Center, she and a co-defendant were sued by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for falsely claiming they would provide legal assistance to consumers, which they could not do, since neither woman was a licensed attorney.

Read the original article in MyNewsLA.

 

OCC restricts Wells Fargo, other banks, in mortgage servicing

June 29th, 2015 at 9:51am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau / CFPB is not the only agency after the banks for unethical mortgage practices. Now the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency / OCC has forbidden several of the biggest lenders from acquiring servicing contracts until they clean up their acts.

Read the article in RE-Insider.

Northern California real estate investor agrees to plead guilty to bid rigging at public foreclosure auctions

May 7th, 2015 at 9:50am

A Northern California real estate investor has agreed to plead guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, the Department of Justice announced.

Felony charges were filed today in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland against Wayne Lippman of Walnut Creek, California.  To date, as a result of the department’s ongoing antitrust investigations into bid rigging and fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Northern California, 55 individuals have agreed to plead or have pleaded guilty.

Read the press release on the US DOJ website.

Corona men arrested for foreclosure rescue fraud

April 8th, 2015 at 8:24am

Two men who allegedly ran a foreclosure rescue fraud in Ontario have been arrested, according to the Ontario Police Department.

Eliseo Delgado, 36,  and Michael Vizcarra, 24, have beencharged with several counts of theft by false pretenses and foreclosure rescue fraud. Their businesses were called CMA Debit Relief Inc. and Vision One Modifications Inc. Authorities said they charged their victims advance fees (illegal) and provided little or no services.

Read the original article in the Inland News Today.

 

Addicted to Fraud: JPMorgan Chase

March 3rd, 2015 at 12:23pm

Still not “getting the message” after being part of the $25 billion national mortgage settlement with the 50 state attorneys general for allegations that it robo-signed foreclosure documents, JPMorgan Chase‘s investors are paying the piper again.

Read the full article in National Mortgage News.

Roseville residents plead guilty in loan modification scheme targeting Hispanics

February 6th, 2015 at 10:41am

Two Roseville residents each face 20 years in federal prison and up to $250,000 for operating a loan modification scam that primarily targeted distressed Hispanic homeowners (affinity fraud, ethnic fraud).

Martin Wayne Flanders, 50, and Ligia Sandoval Spafford, 48, pleaded guilty to mail fraud according to U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

According to court documents filed by prosecutors, between 2008 and 2010, Flanders charged clients upfront/advance fees and promised to provide the victims loan modifications, mortgage loan audits, credit repair, debt relief, bankruptcy filings, and an option to sell their homes to investors, who would rent back to them and offer a later re-purchase. Victims were found by advertising in Spanish-language TV and magazines. They also had air time on the Bay Area Spanish-language Christian radio station known as Radio Luz, where Sandoval advertised the “services” she and Martin Flanders offered.

The charges in this case were numerous. Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times to learn more details.

 

Hispanics charged with targeting other Hispanics in Orange County loan modification scam

January 29th, 2015 at 3:50pm

Five people are facing charges of committing loan modification fraud by targeting Latino victims throughout Southern California. Three of the defendants are family members and are charged with leading a family-run home loan modification ring and illegally charging victims for services that they did not provide.

According to an article in the Orange County Breeze,

“Carlos Centeno is accused of owning and operating the Foreclosure Prevention Department in Irvine, and co-defendants Ricardo Centeno and Lizeth Arzate are accused of owning and operating Debt Settlers of America (DSA) in Orange, which advertised assistance for the renegotiation of home loans. The defendants are accused of advertising DSA on Hispanic radio stations throughout the state in order to target victims.

Co-defendants Hector Valdivia and Susie Rabadan are accused of being office managers and consultants at DSA. Valdivia and Rabadan are accused of knowingly assisting Carlos Centeno, Ricardo Centeno and Liz Arzate in charging and accepting illegal upfront fees from victims for services that they did not provide by collecting and processing loan modification applications.”

Prosecutors are alleging that between December 2009 and December 2012, the defendants contacted 23 victims and promised them assistance with negotiating their home loans. The defendants then charged their victims upfront fees (“advance fees”) of $2,000 to $2,500, which is illegal. They are further accused of directly collecting several victims’ monthly mortgage payments and depositing them into their personal bank accounts. As a result, many of the victims’ homes were foreclosed by the lenders.

Orange County Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce of the Major Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

© Copyright 2007-2015 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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