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 12:08pm
Asima Khan, 35, owner of Financial Independent Services is going to spend 12 days in jail and have to pay $60,387 in restitution to her clients, after being prosecuted by Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette.
Khan violated Michigan law by collecting upfront money for her services, which were mortgage modifications.
“We see this time and time again, good people who have fallen on difficult times are taken advantage of by an individual who sees nothing but dollar signs,” Schuette said in a statement. “I am pleased to see this case resolved, but I will continue to seek justice and restitution for victims of this type of crime.”
Read the original article in the Detroit News.
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.
November 11th, 2016 at 11:35am
Two men who operated a mortgage fraud scheme that targeted mostly African-American churches in the Los Angeles area have been sentenced to federal prison and fined.
Paul Ryan, a former mortgage loan officer with Broadway Federal Bank, and mortgage broker Chester Peggese received sentences of 18 months and one year and one day, respectively. Paul Ryan was ordered to pay $353,925 in restitution to Broadway Federal Bank and Chester Peggese was ordered to pay the bank $4.2 million. Ryan had pleaded guilty to one count of receiving bribes and rewards as a bank employee two years ago.
Peggese acted as a “consultant,” targeting Los Angeles churches to either acquire new property or to refinance their mortgages. At the time Broadway Federal Bank was paying rebates to brokers who brought them loan business; Ryan had been accused of demanding that all or part of the rebate money be paid to him in exchange for processing and approving the bank loans. The scheme ran from 2007 until March 2010.
The case was the result of a multi-agency investigation of the following federal agencies: Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation Division, Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), and Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Office of Inspector General.
Read the original article in The Scanner.