The owner of the shuttered firm OF Lending is facing 12 charges of real estate fraud in the form of grand theft, three counts of criminal conspiracy and one count of perjury for running a business that illegally charged upfront/advance fees to homeowners in distress.
William Hogarty, 49, is also the defendant in a civil lawsuit filed by people who accuse him of defrauding them and costing their homes.
OF Lending claimed to be able to do short-pay refinancing (SPR) for underwater homeowners, which would permit them to negotiate new mortgage terms with their banks. Court documents indicate that Hogarty instructed his employees to sell homeowners on doing SPRs with Wells Fargo Bank, Chase Bank and Bank of America, even though all three lenders did not participate in the program.
The case is being prosecuted by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, real estate fraud division and includes co-defendants James Allen Rivera Jr., Gregory Wayne Lomba and James Torpey. The four men face additional prison time under a California enhancement that increases possible sentences for white collar crimes.
The perjury charge stems from Hogarty’s bankruptcy hearing, which he was allowed to withdraw. He is accused of lying under oath to U.S. Bankruptcy Attorney Margaret McGee regarding his financial assets and other holdings. According to the Alameda County court documents, “Defendant Hogarty committed perjury when he testified that he ‘gave out $421,000′ (in) refunds to clients. Based on the foregoing investigation and OFL financial records collected by the U.S. Department of Justice – Office of the United States Trustee from Defendant Hogarty, he did not distribute $421,000 in refunds.”
The court documents also allege that William Hogarty and his co-defendants conspired to defraud people of their property, that they conspired to commit false advertising, and conspired to collect advance fees.
The grand theft charges arise from the taking of over than $69,000 from people who believed that Hogarty could help them save their homes.
One of the investigators from the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office learned that Hogarty allegedly ordered his employees to pay his personal expenses, such as for his yacht or the mortgage on his 12,978-square-foot mansion, from the business, causing the business bank accounts to be “consistently overdrawn.”
Read the original article in the Pleasanton Weekly News.