California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Loan Fraud' Category

Escondido Women Sentence for 8-Year Mortgage Fraud

May 24th, 2013 at 9:35am

Safieh Fard, 52, of Escondido, has an upcoming five year engagement in federal prison as a result of being convicted for conspiring with her family to commit bank fraud and tax fraud.

Fard, her sister Sedigheh Bahramian and her sons Mohsen Kikalaye and Ahmad Kikalaye began their elaborate and profitable mortgage fraud scheme starting in 1997, when they were given loans after overstating their income and assets to lenders (loan fraud, mortgage fraud). They leveraged the monies to buy homes in Newport Beach, which they at first sold back-and-forth to each other and then eventually to third-parties, pocketing almost $4 million in profits. They might not have been caught had they not wired money to and from their accounts and if they had reported and paid taxes on their gains.

The U.S. District judge in Los Angeles who sentenced Safieh Fard also ordered her to pay $549,000 to the IRS for unpaid taxes. No word if the California Franchise Tax Board feels it is owed taxes too.

The investigating agencies were the IRS and U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The case was prosecutd by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Santa Ana.

Read the original article in the San Diego Union Tribune.

You can read an earlier article in the California Real Estate Fraud Report about Safieh Fard, Sedigheh Bahramian, Mohsen Kikalaye and Ahmad Kikalaye by clicking here.

Orangevale Man Indicted by Federal Grand Jury for Mortgage Fraud

May 9th, 2013 at 6:32pm

An Orangevale man has been indicted by a federal grand jury on five counts having to do with mortgage fraud and loan fraud.

Valeri Kalyuzhnyy, 41,  is charged with making false statements on a loan and credit application and money laundering. The charges date back to the days of Washington Mutual Bank, Countrywide Bank, Bank of America and US Bank, when Kalyuzhnyy worked to prepare and then submit loan applications to the four lenders. According to the indictment, he originated close to $4 million in mortgages by falsifying the income, assets and employment status of the prospective borrowers as as the (non-) fact that they intended to occupy the loans.

The case will be prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephen Lapham and Lee Bickley and was investigated jointly by the FBI and IRS.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Los Angeles Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud

May 7th, 2013 at 9:09am

Ricardo Fabian Salinas, 34, a Los Angeles man who was one of nine people named in an indictment in July 2012, has pleaded guilty to bank fraud in relation to a mortgage fraud scheme that was perpetrated in Bakersfield.

Salinas’ co-defendants are Eliseo Jara Jr., Sergio Jara, Antonio Perez Marcial, Lucia Yolanda Chavez, Arlene Jeanette Jara, Candace Shantel Gonzales, Joseph Shawn Chavez Jr. and Melissa Rochelle Jara.

Prosecutors allege that from 2007 to 2010 Salinas and his co-defendants deceived mortage lenders by preparing and submitting fraudulent loan applications and selling properties to hand-picked buyers. They charge that the false statements included inflating the borrowers’ income, employment and financial assets and that the intent of the purchasers was to use the homes as primary residences.

Ricardo Salinas could get up to 30 years in federal prison when he is sentenced by the judge for his crimes.

Read the original article in Bakersfield Now.

Tampa Man Gets 26 Years for Short Sale Fraud and Foreclosure Fraud

May 3rd, 2013 at 11:58am

I love the justice system in Florida – this would NEVER happen in California.

John W. Lebron, 33, already on probation for possession with intent to sell GHB, an illegal steroid with strong sedative properties, has been sentenced to 26 years in prison for committing short sale fraud and foreclosure fraud.

Lebron, a formerly licensed real estate agent, opened a business called EZ Investments with his wife in 2005. Their first sale was consummated when John Lebron helped his sister Cynthia Lebron to buy a home that was in foreclosure. He not only collected both sides of the commission (dual agency), he got the mortgage broker’s commission after placing the name of another loan officer (loan fraud, mortgage fraud) on the paperwork to conceal his plan.

Emboldened by a successful and very profitable transaction, John Lebron next set up a short sale to his brother-in-law and at the same time arranged a second sale to a straw buyer (“flopping”). Since the straw buyer happened to be unemployed, Lebron submitted phony pay stubs on behalf of the buyer. As with the previous sale to his sister, Lebron received both sides of the real estate sale from both sales as well as the commissions from the loans. The straw buyers earned $5,000 for their troubles.

John Lebron’s fortunes reversed when he defaulted on loans valued at $1.4 million. He was arrested in 2011, lost his real estate license and has been ordered by the trial judge to return $1.5 million.

Read the original article in the Tampa Bay Times.

Interthinx 2012 Mortgage Fraud Risk Report Released

May 3rd, 2013 at 10:42am

Interthinx, an Agoura-based firm that specializes in risk mitigation solutions for the financial services industry, has just released its annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Report. The report covers data and trends by analyzing loan applications processed in calendar year 2012 by its Interthinx FraudGUARD® system.

According to the 2012 report, the Interthinx Annual Mortgage Fraud Risk Index increased 3.4% from 2011. The analysts attribute the increase to rising trend in mortgage fraud risk observed over the prior two years from what they believe is market stabilization, tightening housing inventory and home price increases.

The findings indicate a shift in mortgage fraud schemes from the west coast to east coast. Seven of the “Top 10” states for mortgage fraud are now located in the eastern United States. These states predominantly use judicial foreclosures and were a focal point of robo-signing foreclosures by the major banks before that multi-state lawsuit was settled by the Attorneys General.

For those interested in mortgage fraud trends, this annual report by Interthinx is well-worth reading. Here is the link: http://www.bit.ly/16zgrWu

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

Marin Realtor® Conned out of $1.6 Million by New U.S. Citizen

May 3rd, 2013 at 10:27am

A Congolese man who allegedly represented that he was the son of the president of the Congo and just became a U.S. citizen last month, has been accused of defrauding a Marin real estate agent and his girlfriend out of $1.6 million.

Blessed Marvelous Herve, 41, stands charged with one count of wire fraud, according to a federal criminal complaint, according to U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag.

An affidavit filed by FBI Agent Brian Weber in support of the criminal complaint states that Herve was granted asylum in the United States in 1999. Between 2006 and 2012, Herve allegedly conned the unidentified agent and his girlfriend by telling them a number of false stories, including

(1) Herve’s father was the president of the Congo and wanted to buy several multimillion-dollar homes in the Bay Area.

(2) Herve needed assistance in recovering $43 million the U.S. government had supposedly seized from him. He allegedly bled the agent financially until he was dry; then did the same to the girlfriend. The lure was millions of dollars in “bonuses.”

Are any of you asking the same question I am: why would a man who was supposedly the son of the president of the Congo need political asylum?

Read the original article in the Novato Patch.

San Diego Realtor® Arrested on Mortgage Fraud Charges

May 3rd, 2013 at 10:13am

San Diego Realtor® Kathryn Sylvester has been arrested by the FBI and now faces charges of operating a $5 million mortgage fraud conspiracy.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Sylvester, 43, was charged with 10 counts of wire fraud, two counts of bank fraud and conspiracy with regard to submitting fraudulent loan applications on behalf of straw buyers whom she allegedly recruited. Twenty-eight of the 80 properties that were purchased went into foreclosure, causing losses to lenders of over $5 million.

Straw buyers are rarely prosecuted and almost never see jail time, but three of them in this case have pleaded guilty and are awaiting their sentences: Claudia Montes, Tad Lent and Roderick Michener.

Read the original article in Courthouse News.

Phony Broker Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud, Costing Lenders & Taxpayers $20 Million

May 1st, 2013 at 10:39am

A San Diego woman who brazenly brokered loans without possessing the necessary license has pleaded guilty to operating a a loan origination fraud scheme that included kickbacks.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Mary Armstrong, 51, wrote over $100 million in fraudulent loans (mortgage fraud, loan fraud) and skimmed $14.5 million from it (equity skimming). Armstrong confessed to selling $100 million of real estate around the country at puffed-up prices (appraisal fraud) and took the overpayments for herself. Her admitted crimes included fabricating loan applications for her straw buyers and  getting supporting fraudulent documents from her co-conspirators.

Prior to Armstrong’s guilty pleas, the following co-conspirators also pled guilty:

Teresa Rose, a Ramona real estate agent

Audrey Yeboah, Mary Armstrong’s accountant

– Seattle businessman Justin Mensen

Still awaiting their turn to face the scales of justice are John Allen, 44, of Laguna Hills, and William Fountain, 57, of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors said that the straw buyers were recruited in Southern California and other states by the defendants advertising on the Internet and placing ads in the Los Angeles Times seeking “investors.” The straw buyers were paid $10,000 for each property they “purchased.” Taking advantage of greed by institutional lenders to capture more loan business, the straw buyers were able to obtain 100% financing, relieving them of the risk to make down-payments, as occurred back in the good old days of prudent underwriting. When the straw buyers defaulted, the originators and their secondary market victims, e.g., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, lost upwards of $20 million.

My pet peeve with prosecutors is their consistent lack of interest in prosecuting the straw buyers in mortgage fraud cases. Let’s see if this case is any different.

Read the original article in Courthouse News. You can also read earlier postings about these defendants by using the Search tool on the left side of the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

Sacramento Brothers Plead Guilty in Mortgage Fraud Case

April 17th, 2013 at 1:27pm

Two men, brothers Andrey Andreyev, 37, of Sacramento, and Vitaliy Andreyev, 30, of Antelope, entered guilty please to wire fraud with respect to a mortgage fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said the two were recruited to act as straw buyers by Vera Kuzmenko, the owner of VK Tax Services, to buy properties. Andrey bought one for $850,000 and Vitaliy purchased another for $1.2 million. Kuzmenko allegedly prepared the loan documents and promised the men money for their “services.”

Vera Kuzmenko knew the statements on the loan applications were false because she was their tax preparer. Kuzmenko has been charged with wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and witness tampering in connection but has not been to trial yet.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

Seven Persons Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

April 4th, 2013 at 9:41am

Benjamin Wagner, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of California, announced that a federal grand jury has returned indictments against seven men and women, who have been charged with mail fraud, wire fraud and making false statements involving the purchase of at least 23 homes in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.

Readers of the California Real Estate Fraud Report recognize that Wagner is by far the most aggressive federal prosecutor for his district in California.

The defendants are Jannice Riddick, aka Jannice Frazier, 30, of Sacramento; Aleksandr Kovalev, 50, of Rocklin; Arthur Chang Menefee, 42, of Stockton; Adil Qayyum, 31, of Rosele, Ill.; Elsie Pamela Fuller, 38, of Richmond; Leona Yeargin, 46, of San Pablo; and Florence Francisco, 62, of Houston, Texas.

Elsie Pamela Fuller and Leona Yeargin were additionally charged with aggravated identify theft because they allegedly used stolen identification to purchase one or more of the homes.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

 

© Copyright 2007-2016 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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