California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Judgement Day for Milton Retana of Best Diamond Funding

Milton Retana, 45, a subject of several previous articles in the California Real Estate Fraud Report, is facing 27 years in prison. That’s what federal prosecutors are probably going to ask a judge to impose on Retana, who ripped off more than 2,000 investors out of more than $62 million in a real estate fraud crime spree.

Retana targeted fellow Latinos in a case that could be described as ethnic fraud or affinity fraud, which occurs when the perpetrator seeks victims of a similar demographic group. He found his victims by advertising in Spanish-language publications and by holding seminars. In the end, Retana did little more than operate a Ponzi scheme, paying early investors using money he raised from later ones.

According to Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, Retana operated a Ponzi scheme using Best Diamond Funding, his own firm, to promise investors unbelievable returns of up to 84 percent per year. Many took out second mortgages so that they could buy in, according to prosecutors.

Retana’s wife owned a religious bookstore called Libreria del Exito Mundo, which is located next door to Best Diamond Funding. When postal inspectors and FBI agents raided Best Diamond Funding and Libreria del Exito Mundo, they found almost $4 million in cash in the two buildings.

*** Note: after this writing, Milton Retana was sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Read the full article in the Daily Breeze and Businessweek.

© Copyright 2007-2018 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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