January 6th, 2017 at 10:15am
A Cerritos real estate broker was arrested for taking part in a two-year escrow fee scam that stole over $500,000 from over 30 victims.
Los Angeles County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Mario Gonzalez, a licensed broker at MCR Escrow, located at 1800 Studebaker Road #700.
Gonzalez, 45, allegedly participated in a scam in which homes were fraudulently listed as short sales, investigators in the Sheriff’s fraud bureau said. Buyers were required to pay escrow fees to “secure” a property after they submitted their bids. None of the sales closed, yet the buyers’ fees were not returned to them.
Mario Gonzalez has also been reported to RipoffReport.com, presumably by some of his unhappy customers.
Investigators are looking for other victims and can contact Detective Keith Clark at 562-946-7217.
In the meantime, Gonzalez is being held in lieu of a $70,000 bail at the Norwalk Sheriff Station.
Read the original article in Los Cerritos News.
January 6th, 2017 at 10:00am
Andres Oman Pacheco, 40, has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty to the following crimes in a real estate fraud case:
Two counts of grand theft, both felonies
Admitting a sentencing enhancement allegation for aggravated white collar crime exceeding $500,000
The victims put money on deposit to buy property and when the deals fell through Pacheco would not refund the money, McFetridge said.
Pacheco was the owner of Santa Ana-based Franklin Equity Corporation/Signature Escrow, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney George McFetridge. His victims had entrusted him with $540,000 to invest in properties. When the sales failed to close, Pacheco refused to return their money.
Read the original article in the OC Register.
December 16th, 2016 at 12:09pm
Two men have been charged by the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s Office with allegedly committing real estate fraud that cost Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac at least $500,000.
Angelo Gabriel Naemi, 36, was charged with five counts of grand theft by false pretenses, and one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft. Steven Paul Gonzales, 61, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit grand theft.
“The complaint alleges that Naemi, a real estate salesperson, and Gonzales, a real estate broker, conspired to falsify documents in association with numerous short sale transactions,” the District Attorney’s Office said. The complaint against both men also includes special allegations for aggravated white collar crime and excessive losses.
Gonzales became sole owner of CornerStone Real Estate in Santa Maria in 2012 while Naemi is listed as a sales associate with the firm which has an office at 411 E. Betteravia Road, Suite 101.
Read the original article on Noozhawk.
December 8th, 2016 at 5:50pm
Richard D. Lamphere, 53, who was found guilty by a jury in September on four of five charges in relation to a real estate fraud case, has indicated through his new attorneys his intent to seek a new trial.
The case against Lamphere dates back more than 10 years and concerns two men who were defrauded out of more than a combined $1.3 million in an Oroville real estate scheme. Both men gave Lamphere their money in the hopes that they would profit from Lamphere’s real estate investment project. Prosecutors, however, presented evidence that he used the victims’ investment money for his personal use.
One of the men, sued Richard Lamphere in civil court and was awarded $1.9 million. This proceeded the filing of criminal charges by the Solano County District Attorney’s Office.
Read the original article in TheReporter.com.
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.
November 18th, 2016 at 10:08am
California real estate investors John Michael Galloway and Nicholas Diaz have each pleaded guilty to one count of bid rigging in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in Oakland today.
According to court documents, between June 2008 and January 2011, the two men agreed and conspired with others not to bid against one another, instead setting up a private bidding system. The purpose of that was to suppress competition and to acquire properties at non-competitive prices.
Thus far, 59 persons have either pleaded guilty or agreed to plead guilty in bid rigging at public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Francisco, San Mateo, Contra Costa and Alameda counties.
These investigations are being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s San Francisco Office and the FBI’s San Francisco Office, in connection with the president’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.
November 18th, 2016 at 10:01am
Aleksandr Kovalev, 53, has pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud involving financial institutions.
Kovalev, a developer was in the Sacramento, Fairfield and Stockton areas, had been accused of making incentive payments to home buyers through “down payment assistance.” This was done outside of escrow and was not disclosed to the lenders, who were not aware that the effect was to substantially reduce the actual sales price.
Already, five of Aleksandr Kovalev’s co-defendants have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. They are Jannice Riddick, 34, of Sacramento, two years and 11 months in prison; Florence Francisco, 65, of Houston, one year in prison; Adil Qayyum, 34, of Rosele Ill., three years of probation; Elsie Pamela Fuller, 41, of Richmond, one year and nine months in prison; and Leona Yeargin, 49, of San Pablo, 18 months in prison.
Valeriy Vasilevitsky and Ruth Willis have also pleaded guilty and await sentencing.
The case resulted from an investigation by the FBI and the Internal Revenue Service.
Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.
November 11th, 2016 at 12:25pm
Mazen Alzoubi, 33, a real estate investor who authorities described as being the ringleader of a Southern California scheme that defrauded banks and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac was sentenced in San Diego federal court Monday to six years, three months in prison.
According to prosecutors in the U.S. Attorneys Office for the Southern District of California, Alzoubi stole home titles from the rightful corporate owners and then sold them to unsuspecting buyers (title fraud). He did this by forging documents to make it seem the properties had been sold to one of his businesses and then he recorded the bogus documents at various county recorders’ offices, “earning” $2.2 million from the mortgage fraud.
Alzoubi pleaded guilty in January to five counts including conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to launder money.
“The strength of our housing market and public confidence in our economy depends on strong enforcement efforts to root out schemes like this,” U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy said in a statement. “The lengthy sentence in this case is a loud, clear message to anyone inclined to prey on the fallout from the devastating economic meltdown.”
Read the original article in the San Diego Tribune.
November 11th, 2016 at 11:48am
The following is a press release by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office:
The Honorable Curtis Fiorini sentenced Shaima Hadayat and Harpreet Singh to 180 days in county jail for real estate fraud, specifically, short sale fraud. Singh also received 5 years formal probation and Hadayat received 3 years informal probation.
Broker Shaima Hadayat and Real Estate Agent Harpreet Singh were realtors for multiple short sale transactions in which they signed arm’s length transaction agreements under penalty of perjury. An investigation by the Office of Inspector General revealed the sellers were related to the buyers and after the transactions were completed, the sellers remained in their homes in violation of the agreements.
Both defendants conspired to facilitate and obtain commissions from these transactions. Singh also forged proof of funds on multiple offers to various realtors throughout Sacramento County.
Harpreet Singh pled no contest to a felony count of forgery and agreed to surrender his realtor license to the California Bureau of Real Estate. Shaima Hadayat pled no contest to a misdemeanor count of grand theft and agreed to surrender her broker license to the California Bureau of Real Estate.
The Office of the Inspector General was the investigating agency as the victims, Wells Fargo Bank and Bank of America, N.A., applied for and received federal Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) funds under the Capital Purchase Program (CPP).
This case was prosecuted by the Sacramento County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.
October 13th, 2016 at 9:32am
Nancy Russell Kempis, 64, of Santa Clara, has been sentenced for more than six-months in jail for scamming a family out of their home and defrauding four banks.
The former real estate agent convinced the family to sell her their home at a “dramatically reduced price” in order to avoid foreclosure. She rented them the home and promised to return it. Instead, she secured a number of fraudulent mortgages, sucking all the equity out of the house and defaulting between 2006 and 2009. The home was then lost to foreclosure and the family evicted.
Kempis’ scam cost lenders $750,000.
Kempis eventually fled to New York, went into hiding under the false name Morpheus Daw Pud Ko and helped run a women’s ministry.
“Ms. Kempis scammed hundreds of thousands of dollars and drove a family into homelessness,” Santa Clara County Deputy District Attorney Charles Huang said in a statement.
Read the original article in KRON4.com