California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Real Estate Litigation' Category

Lafayette Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud, Money Laundering

July 25th, 2017 at 9:42am

Real estate agent Robert Jacobsen, 69, pleaded guilty Wednesday to federal charges related to a complex scheme in which he fraudulently obtained the title to homes (title fraud) and then resold them at market prices.

Federal prosecutors said that Jacobsen pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering by setting up “sham companies” and lawsuits to falsely make it appear that mortgage liens connected to two homes were invalidated.

“Jacobsen admitted that two homes that were the subjects of such lawsuits were in Danville, Calif., and San Francisco, Calif.  Jacobsen admitted that, after obtaining fraudulent judgments, he sold the Danville home for $540,000 and the San Francisco home for $1.2 million.  Jacobsen admitted that in both cases, his representations regarding the fraudulent court judgments had a natural tendency to influence the buyers to purchase the homes.”

Read the press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

Whistleblower charges Zillow executive stole data from Move

May 5th, 2015 at 1:05pm

The lawsuit by Move and the National Association of Realtors against Errol Samuelson, Move’s former chief strategy officer, has heated up with the appearance a letter from an anonymous whistleblower. The whistleblower alleges that Samuelson stole “multiple documents and entire databases” when he worked at Move, and that Zillow, where Samuelson is now the chief development officer,  is using the stolen information, and is hiding evidence on non-Zillow electronic services.

Read the original article on HousingWire.

Zillow Sued by Top Agent Network for Theft of Its Trade Secrets

November 7th, 2014 at 8:10am

Top Agent Network, Inc. (TAN) has filed a lawsuit against giant  online real estate company Zillow, accusing Zillow of theft of its proprietary trade secrets in the creation of the highly-promoted  “Coming Soon” feature. The Top Agent Network lawsuit alleges that Zillow was able to learn exactly how TAN’s confidential program worked by pretending to have interest in investing in it and that this was simply a ploy to gain access and launch a competing product.

TAN CEO David Faudman said, “TAN is based on the principle that collaboration among trusted participants is the key to success and we approached this transaction in that spirit. We believe that Zillow broke this trust by misusing trade secrets that we spent years developing and perfecting.” Faudman further said “We are filing this lawsuit to hold Zillow accountable for its actions.”

According to an article in BusinessWireTop Agent Network “is a private, member-only online community where the verified top 10% of real estate agents in local markets collaborate and exchange information. TAN agents exchange information relating to a broad range of real estate issues, including upcoming listings (commonly referred to as “pre-MLS” or “Coming Soon” listings), buyer needs, service provider recommendations, agent referrals and other industry matters. TAN has a wide reach within the industry, as their agents typically sell between 75% and 90% of the homes in their areas. TAN’s collaborative model increases the flow of information, benefiting informed sellers by ensuring that their properties get broad pre-MLS exposure and leading to smoother transactions and better prices for clients. TAN is a national leader in this type of exchange.”

 

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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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