California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Real Estate Investment Fraud' Category

San Joaquin Real Estate Agent Arrested for Elder Abuse

May 12th, 2016 at 10:51am

Geana Or, a real estate agent from Lathrop, in San Joaquin County, has been arrested on suspicion of grand theft and elder abuse. Or, 46, who also uses the name Geana Lay.

Or / Lay will face prosecution in Santa Clara County by the Real Estate Fraud Unit with the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office.

Investigators found out about the alleged fraud after a 73-year-old Los Altos Hills resident reported that he was approached by his real-estate agent last year and proposed that he purchase two homes that were “supposedly approaching foreclosure” with the intent of flipping them for higher value in the future. Between January and March 2015, the agent, since identified as Or, convinced him to write 10 cashier’s checks in her name, totaling about $475,000.

Read the original article in Mercury News.

Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty in Foreclosure Fraud Case

May 12th, 2016 at 10:38am

Ventura County District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced that Gregoria Mendoza, a former mortgage broker, has pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony grand theft and foreclosure consultant fraud.

Prosecutors said that Mendoza, 60, created six separate real estate investment schemes and stole about $470,000 from victims in Ventura, Los Angeles and Tulare counties. She had told the victims their money would be invested in real estate projects but instead she spent the money on herself.

Mendoza also illegally charged one of the victims upfront/advance fees for a mortgage loan modification.

Read the original article in the Ventura County Star.

Co-Founder of Pacific Property Assets Gets Light Sentence Due to Minor Child

April 29th, 2016 at 1:16pm

John Packard is a convicted felon who caught a lucky break.

Packard, 66, is the co-founder of Irvine-based Pacific Property Assets, along with his former partner, CEO Michael J. Stewart, 68. In exchange for testifying against Stewart in a case in which prosecutors alleged that about 650 mostly elderly investors lost a total of $169 million in savings and retirement funds when PPA declared bankruptcy, Packard received only 2 1/2 years, whereas Stewart was sentenced to 14 years.

Packard’s luck is that he and his ex-wife, who is serving a life sentence for contracting the murder of her wealthy boyfriend William McLaughlin, have a 16-year old daughter. U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney granted the lenient sentence to Packard for his cooperation and lesser culpability than Stewart.

Read the original article in the Orange County Register.

Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office Receives Federal Award

April 8th, 2016 at 10:27am

Federal prosecutors have awarded the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office the Outstanding Law Enforcement Agency Award for the Eastern District of California for its efforts to fight mortgage fraud and violent gangs.

In acknowledging the work of Investigator Glenn Gulley and Lt. Froilan Mariscal , U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner said “The investigators with the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office deserve particular recognition for their skill, diligence, and spirit of cooperation.”

Glenn Gulley worked on the FBI’s mortgage fraud task force and continues to work with federal investigators on several pending fraud cases, including the case against Xue Heu, a “serial investment fraudster” who posed as a government official to sell distressed properties to investors, according to federal prosecutors. Heu was sentenced to more than five years in prison. There are several articles about Xue Heu than can be found on the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

Read the original article in the Modesto Bee.

Bakersfield Investment Club under Investigation by the SEC

March 25th, 2016 at 6:48am

The Bakersfield Investment Club, located on Stockdale Highway is under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC filed a complaint last week against the company, alleging CEO Daniel Nase of running a fraudulent scheme designed to enrich himself. Nase, a former property appraiser for Kern County,  took in over $11 million from 400 people and guaranteed his investors a minimum return of 15 percent.

Los Angeles-area attorney, Scott Vick, who represents Daniel Nase, said he client ” . . . was very transparent and well-intentioned.” The SEC got it wrong. They don’t win every case they bring.”

Read the original article in

San Clemente Man Ordered to Repay over $9 million to Investors in Ponzi Scheme

March 11th, 2016 at 11:46am

The former owner of a bankrupt Orange County real estate investment firm was sentenced to 168 months in prison for operating a Ponzi scheme that cost his investors $169 million.

San Clemente-based Michael J. Stewart, 68, was also ordered Monday by U.S. District Judge Cormac J. Carney to pay $9,234,914 restitution to 120 victims in connection with his conviction on 11 counts of mail fraud in August 2015.

Stewart’s firm was Pacific Property Assets. Its business, which had offices in Long Beach and Irvine, raised money by refinancing and selling properties, according to U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker.

Stewart and his co-defendant John Packard used new money they raised to pay earlier investors.

Read the original article in


SLO District Attorney argues against plea deal for defendants in mortgage fraud

February 26th, 2016 at 8:41am

Two former San Luis Obispo County mortgage brokers who were being prosecuted in a mortgage fraud case could get off easy if a California appellate court’s recommendation that they have to pay only $114,400 in restitution to their 80 victims stands, instead of the $8.2 million that they are thought to have owed to those people.

The appellate court’s alternative write of mandate ruled that the San Luis Obispo Superior Court should honor the deals it made with Rodney Virgil Jarmin, 75, and Tammy Marian Jordan, 53, former owners of Paso Robles-based Real Property Lenders.

Read the original article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

Convicted in real estate investment fraud, man arrested again

November 13th, 2015 at 11:54am

Xue Heu, who already had been sentenced to over five years for running a Modesto-based real estate investment scam, is in trouble again.

While awaiting his sentenced, Heu, aka Michael Chan, was arrested by local authorities for stealing from new victims.

Heu and co-defendant Thomas Dickey Price, 73, also of Modesto, falsely posed as agents of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to sell distressed properties, all of which had already been sold. Their company was called Liquid Assets & Land Investments Inc. and Capital Land Investments LLC.

A third defendant, Mark Steven Thompson, 37, of Oakdale built the websites for Heu to lure investors and set-up email and bank accounts.

Read the original article in the Modesto Bee.

Two women plead guilty to conning victims in phony real estate investment scheme

November 6th, 2015 at 8:13am

Loan Thituong Nguyen, 46, of Westminster and Lynn Eichenberger, 45, of Chatsworth, have accepted deals from Orange County Superior Court Judge Kazuharu Makino.

According to Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce, sentencing is scheduled for February 19 so that probation officers can prepare their findings on the women and to find out if they have paid any restitution. Nguyen has paid $150,000 and her insurance company has paid $300,000 but Eichenberger has made no payments. Given that they were accused of cheating their victims out of $3,000,000 that’s not much restitution.

The two ran a scheme in which Lynn Eichenberger recruited investors to give her and Nguyen money to purchase foreclosed properties, none of which ever occurred. Loan Thituong Nguyen was a licensed real estate broker who managed Suncoast Mortgage Corp. and Suncoast Investment Realty. She surrendered her license in 2013; documents surrounding the investigation of her activities can be found on the California Bureau of Real Estate website.

Read the original article in the Northridge-Chatsworth Patch.


West Hills securities broker sentenced for real estate investment scam

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:39pm

Jonathan Greenfield, 50, of West Hills, has been sentenced to 18 months in federal prison by U.S. District Court Judge Dale S. Fischer.

Greenfield pleaded guilty in December 2013 to two counts of wire fraud after admitting that he misled clients at his brokerage Morgan Peabody about a real estate investment fund called the Sherwood Secured Investment Fund.

The fund was created by David A. Williams, the former chief executive at Morgan Peabody. Williams, who admitted using much of the investors’ money for his own use, also pleaded guilty but has not been sentenced yet.

Read the original article in the Los Angeles Business Journal.

© 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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