California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Flagstar Penalized $37.5 Million for Violating Mortgage Servicing Rules

September 30th, 2014 at 7:49am

Banks that continue using stall tactics to prevent borrowers from refinancing their homes or getting loan modifications are now finding their dishonesty is very costly. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has just fined Michigan-based Flagstar  $37.5 million for violating the new mortgage servicing rules.

Read the article in DSNews.

CFPB Fines Amerisave Mortgage Corp. $19.3 for Bait-and-Switch Scheme

September 26th, 2014 at 8:57am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has ordered Amerisave Mortgage Corp. to pay $19.3 million fine for deceiving borrowers about interest rates. The penalties include Amerisave’s affiliate Novo Appraisal Management Company and Patrick Markert, the owner of both firms.

Amerisave, which is an Atlanta-based online lending company operating in all 50 states, lured in borrowers

“Amerisave lured consumers in with deceptive advertising, trapped them with costly upfront fees, and then illegally overcharged them for services from an undisclosed affiliate,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “By the time consumers could have discovered the advertised low rates were too good to be true, they had already committed to pay hundreds of dollars to Amerisave. Today’s action puts an end to Amerisave’s unacceptable bait-and-switch scheme and holds Patrick Markert personally responsible for his illegal actions.”

Read the press release on the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau‘s website.

Pasadena Man Arrested in Mortgage Fraud of Laguna Beach House

September 25th, 2014 at 9:49am

Pasadena resident Paul Clark, 51, has been arrested in connection with a mortgage fraud of a Laguna Beach home.

The property had no mortgage and was being remodeled by the owner, who did not live on the premises. He found out that a $400,000 had been taken out against his property when he began receiving foreclosure notices. Laguna Beach police investigated and Clark was identified as a suspect when they found where the bank’s money had been wired, according to Capt. Jason Kravetz.

Read the original article in the Laguna Beach Independent.


Dixon Real Estate Agent Guilty in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

September 25th, 2014 at 9:41am

A former real estate agent has been found guilty by a federal jury in Sacramento of one count of mail fraud in relation to a mortgage fraud scam.

Hubert Rotteveel, 52, of Dixon, represented two buyers in the purchase of 13 properties in Dixon. According to the prosecutors’ evidence, Rotteveel worked with the loan officers to provide false information to the lenders about his buyers’ finances. Rotteveel collected over $300,000 in rents from the properties, which went into foreclosure and caused losses of over $3 million to the lenders.

Hubert Rotteveel‘s real estate license was revoked in 2011 by the California Department of Real Estate.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

Elder Woman Claims Financial Abuse of Former Caretakers

September 25th, 2014 at 9:25am

Gloria Thornton, an 87-year old woman, says her former caretakers talked her into buying a home in Cathedral City last year and letting them live there for free. She also bought them a new van and gave them $20,000.

The situation came to light when Thornton’s son, David Lando, saw her tax returns last year, which is how he found out about the home purchase. Lando, who lives in Costa Rica, filed a police report.

This is a very sad story where nobody was paying attention. Mrs. Thornton’s bank didn’t question why an elderly person was purchasing a house and her family most likely didn’t have a financial advisor to watch over her finances.

Read the original article on KESQ.

Alan David Tikal Convicted in Mortgage Reduction Scam

September 19th, 2014 at 7:33am

After a one-day bench trial on stipulated facts before U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley, Alan David Tikal was convicted on 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Tikal ran a business called KATN, which promised homeowners in financial distress that he would lower their outstanding mortgage debt by 75%, thereby lowering their monthly mortgage payments. He falsely claimed to his victims that he was “a registered private banker with access to an enormous line of credit and the ability to pay off homeowners’ mortgages in full. Tikal told homeowners that in return for various fees and payments, their existing loans would be paid in full, and the homeowners would then owe new loans to Tikal that would be only 25 percent of the original loan.”

As the reader might suspect, none of the homeowners’ saw their mortgages paid, foregiven or reduced and because they were told to stop making their mortgage payments to their banks, many lost their homes to foreclosure. Of the $5.8 million Tikal collected, almost half went into his or his family’s accounts for their personal use.

Alan David Tikal‘s crimes were considered so extensive that he was prosecuted by both the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California and the California Attorney General’s Office. His case was investigated by  SIGTARP, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, the California Department of Justice, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office.



Real Estate Auctioneer Sentenced for Fraud

September 19th, 2014 at 7:16am

A short-lived scheme has resulted in a Huntington Beach woman being sentenced to state prison after she admitted to defrauding banks at real estate auctions she held.

Reyna Peinado, 48, and an associate ran auctions for Reliable Posting and Publishing (RPP) and conducted real estate auctions at the Orange County courthouse. According to an FBI investigation, Peinado contacted some of the winning bidders at her auctions and offered to reduce the sale price of the properties they had purchased from between $15,000 and $57,000 if they would pay her a $5,000 bribe.

The banks that held title to the foreclosed properties lost about $261,500 as a result of her crimes.

Read the original article in the Orange County Register the FBI’s press release.


Sentences Handed Out for $36 Million Ponzi Scheme in Sacramento

September 19th, 2014 at 6:43am

Three men have received heavy prison sentences for their roles in the Ponzi scheme they ran under the company known as Diversified Management Consultants (DMC).

After hearing victims’ testimonies and an FBI forensic accountant, U.S. States District Judge Troy Nunley sentenced Christopher Jackson, 46, of Elk Grove,  to 30 years in prison; Michael Bolden, 60, of Sacramento, to 20 years in prison; and Victor Alvarado, 53, of Sacramento, to 10 years in prison.

According to prosecutors from U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner‘s office, DMC ran various investment clubs between 2003 and 2009, convincing at least 240 people, including their own families, to invest with them. Very little of the money was actuall invested, going instead to pay phony returns to previous investors (the Ponzi scheme) and to buy jewelry, expensive clothes and trips and the requisite Lamborghini, Rolls Royce, BMW, and Range Rover.

Three more DMC principals await sentencing: Garry Bradford, Nicholo Arceo and Erica Arceo. Erica was the in-house-attorney but lost her law license with the California State Bar as a result of her involvement and guilty plea.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.


** Update: meanwhile, some of the investors/victims sued Stewart Title of Placer and Stone Canyon Mortgage, to try to recover some of their losses. According to the Sacramento Bee, the case was settled on Sept. 24 for $900,000.

Short Sale Fraud Comes to Iowa

September 12th, 2014 at 12:33pm

An 11-page indictment from the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Iowa alleges that four men, including an attorney, defrauded financial institutions in the area in or around Des Moines, causing losses to the lenders of approximately $400,000.

The four defendants, who have been charged with bank fraud,  are attorney Jason Springer, property flippers Nathan Smith and Patrick Steven, real estate agent Rick Makohoniuk and mortgage broker Jerod Hogan.

The indictment charges that Smith and Steven negotiated short sales with the lenders on the behalf of the selling homeowners. Lenders require the purchasers of such properties to be arm’s-length buyers in order to ensure that the properties are sold at fair-market value and are not simply a ruse for the sellers to get their properties back at a reduced mortgage.  However, prosecutors allege that Smith and Steven purchased the homes without disclosing this to the lenders and that further, the selling prices were not fair-market value (short sale fraud). Note: Dear Banks: where were your appraisers when this happened?

Following the purchases, which involved 18 properties, Smith and Steven resold the homes for a profit, i.e., their true fair-market values. Attorney Springer is alleged to have participated by conducting the closings. Makohuniuk is alleged to have submitted false documents to a lender and Hogan alleged provided Smith and Steven with false documents they used to deceive the lenders.

The allged crimes occurred from approximately March 2009 to March 2011 and were investigated by both the FBI and the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD-OIG).

Publisher’s note: it is my observation that California has proportionately done less to investigate and prosecute short sale fraud than any other state, which probably explains why short sale fraud is as common as identity theft here.

Read the original article in the Algona Upper Des Moines.

To learn more about short sale fraud, read my book “How to Commit Short Sale Fraud . . . and Get Away with It.”

Granada Hills Accountant Sentenced to Prison for Committing Bank Fraud

September 12th, 2014 at 11:46am

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Nevada has announced that Granada Hills accountant, Carmen Denise Mosley will be reporting to federal prison on November 3, 2014. Mosley was sentenced to 57 months after being convicted by a jury on one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud. She was ordered by the court to pay restitution of $1.1 million to the lenders that were victimized.

The evidence presented at trial proved to the jury that Mosley, from November 2006 to November 2007, Mosley, 43 used her position as a certified public accountant (CPA) to assist loan officer Zulfiya Karimova, a Cupertino woman, California, by providing false financial documentation so that buyers could obtain mortgage loans. The misled lending institutions funded three home purchases in Las Vegas but lost over $1 million after the buyers defaulted.

Zulfiya Karimova, 33, avoided trial by pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and to bank fraud. Her sentence is unknown.

Read the original article on the FBI’s website.

© 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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