California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Real estate investors allege fraud in Southern California lawsuit

Lodi-based Fortuno Inc. is the target of a lawsuit who claim the firm defrauded them out of $1 million by telling them that homes Fortuno bought could be resold easily to make a profit when in reality the homes were either condemned or in need of expensive repairs.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Andrew Wyatt, alleges, among other charges, that the promoters stated investors would earn 14 – 17 percent annual returns from the homes in Michigan and Ohio. Wyatt further alleges that while the investors lost all of their money, the defendants earned at least 400 percent by selling the properties to the investors.

Also named in the lawsuit were the Real Estate Investors Club of Los Angeles, Sognari International Inc., National Realty Inc. and the officials who ran those business. Phyllis Rockower is the owner of the Real Estate Investors Club of Los Angeles, which earns fees from presenting various investing opportunities to its investors, mostly individuals or couples, in monthly meetings.

William “Bill” Yotty and Barbara Thomas, the owner and senior VP of operations for Fortuno, respectively, were part of PayStar Communications in the early 2000s, which was also sued successfully by investors with similar complaints.  According to Layla Bohm, a writer for the Lodi News Sentinel, Fortuno is still an active business registered with the State of California.

Read the full article in the Lodi News Sentinel.

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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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