California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for October, 2015

Four Sacramento residents sentenced to prison in mortgage fraud scheme

October 29th, 2015 at 11:07am

Four Sacramento-area people who were found guilty of conspiracy related to mortgage fraud received prison sentences in federal court.

Peter Kuzmenko, 37,  was sentenced to nearly six years in prison. He had received 19 years in prison earlier this week for another mortgage fraud case.

Olga Palamarchuk, 45, received almost six years.

Pyotr Bondaruk, 44,  was sentenced to almost six years.

Vera Zhiry, 35, was sentenced to three years and one month.

Prosecutors had accused Palamarchuk, a loan officer at Capital Mortgage Lending Inc., of submitting fraudulent loan applications on behalf of Bondaruk, to lenders in order to get 100% financing on two home loans and then later a HELOC (home equity line of credit) on one of them. They then diverted $32,378 of “seller’s proceeds” to Kuzmenko, owner of Pete’s Pool Service, to pay for non-existent repairs and improvements.
Read the original article in the Sacramento Business Journal.

Ratings Discrepancies Found in 39% of Appraisals

October 29th, 2015 at 10:51am

Platinum Data Solutions is reporting that more than 1/3 of appraisals during the third quarter of 2015 showed property quality or condition ratings that did not match previous appraisals.

Read the original article in National Mortgage News.

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.

Dixon real estate agent goes to prison for mortgage fraud

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:28pm

Hubert Rotteveel, 52, a real estate salesman whose license has been revoked, was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb to three years and four months in prison for one count of mail fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

A federal jury convicted Rotteveel of one count of mail fraud in September 2014. Rotteveel was the real estate agent for 13 properties in Dixon and worked with loan officers to provide fraudulent loan application information to the lenders regarding the financial positions of the buyers. He is said to have made over $300,000 from the scheme but the lenders lost over $3 million when every one of the properties was foreclosed.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

 

Bakersfield residents sentenced for mortgage fraud

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:18pm

Two Bakersfield residents received federal prison sentences for their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fresno, Lucia Yolanda Chavez, 37, and Joseph Chavez, 41,  paid straw buyers to submit fraudulent loan applications to purchase real estate.

Ms. Chavez received four years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud and ordered to pay $1.8 million in restitution. Mr. Chavez  was sentenced to three years in prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud and must pay $1.44 million in restitution.

The Chavez’ co-defendants Eliseo Jara, Sergio Jara, Melissa Jara, Antonio Perez-Marcial and Arlene Jeanette Mojardin already received prison sentences.

Read the original article in Bakersfield Now.

 

Lender for Kelly Gearhart gets 7 years for role in the Ponzi scheme

October 22nd, 2015 at 3:10pm

James Hurst Miller, 67, a North County lender who was a middleman for developer Kelly Gearhart, has been sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his participation in the Ponzi scheme that defrauded hundreds of area investors, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.

Miller had agreed to testify against Gearhart, who was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison last July.

Gearhart was a prominent developer and former Atascadero Citizen of the Year who began committing fraud in 2004, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Miller helped Gearhart raise money from investors with his firm, Hurst Financial Corp. for large developments, such as Vista Del Hombre, a Paso Robles golf course. Eventually, both men misused the investors’ money, spending it on themselves.

Read the original article in the San Luis Obispo Tribune.

There are many earlier postings about this case that you can find by searching the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

 

Seal Beach man pleads guilty to mortgage rescue fraud

October 22nd, 2015 at 2:56pm

Terry Meisinger, 74, pleaded guilty last week to two counts of wire fraud, admitting he defrauded a distressed homeowner by inducing him to sign a quitclaim. The quitclaim was purportedly in exchange for promises  by Meisinger that he would negotiate a short-sale agreement with the victim’s lender for a property located in North Las Vegas.

According to his please agreement, Meisinger instead recorded a deed of trust on the property, which was followed by a fraudulent bankruptcy on behalf of the person who supposedly now held an interest in the home. During the period of the bankruptcy stay, he rented the home to another person.

Meisinger admitted repeating “the process of causing the recording of deeds of trusts in the names of various beneficiaries whose identities he controlled and causing the filing of bankruptcies on behalf of those lenders to delay the foreclosure proceedings, while collecting rents.” Between 1999-2014, he “earned” over $1.5 million on his scheme, which involved approximately 150 properties and at least 50 victims, which included the borrowers/owners, lenders and tenants.

The prosecution of Terry Meisinger resulted from an investigation by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General (HUD-OIG).

Read the original article in the Press-Telegram.

Several Jara family members sentenced to prison

October 16th, 2015 at 10:23am

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fresno announced the following sentences for members of the Jara family, who used straw buyers to purchase home loans based on fraudulent loan applications from 2007 to 2010.

Eliseo Jara Jr. received  6 1/2 years in prison and was ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution.

Eliseo’s brother Sergio Jara was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and was ordered to pay $3,249,624 in restitution.

Sergio Jara’s wife, Melissa Rochelle Jara was sentenced to time served, five years on supervised release and was ordered to pay $271,171 in restitution.

The court ordered the Jaras to forfeit their interests in six Bakersfield properties.

Read the original article in  BakersfieldNow.com

Note: There are numerous articles about the Jara family that can be located by using the Search tool on the left side of this blog.

California Bureau of Real Estate (BRE) Summary of Enforcement Actions – September 2015

October 16th, 2015 at 10:12am

Here is the monthly summary of enforcement actions the BRE has taken against licensees.

Note that for all the good work the BRE does in trying to discipline or remove bad agents and brokers, it has not filed any actions against licensees for involvement in short sale fraud schemes for almost 2 years!

 

Salinas women charged in mortgage fraud, tax fraud case

October 9th, 2015 at 12:11pm

Salinas residents Elizabeth Calderon, 39, and Esther Sanchez (aka Trinidad Carrillo), 54, have been charged with filing false tax returns, theft of government funds, aggravated identity theft and making false statements to a federally insured institution and conspiracy.

The indictment charges that, beginning in late November 2010, Calderon, who was a professional tax return preparer, helped prepare and present 13 false U.S. individual tax returns and 1040 forms for other taxpayers. The charges include that she used the identification of others in order to receive fraudulent income tax refunds and that she filed false 1040 forms in her own name for 2010, 2011 and 2012.  Last, Calderon and Sanchez were both charged with conspiring to submit a loan application to Bank of America that contained false information and was supported by counterfeited documents (loan fraud, mortgage fraud).

Read the original article in the Monterey Herald.

 

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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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