California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Shameful: the Nation’s Only Successful Prosecution for Short Sale Fraud

This story underscores a central them of my ebook: that short sale fraud is an incredibly profitable white-collar crime that is, at least for now, 100% risk-free for the participants.

Having said that, this post is about the two unluckiest real estate agents: both got prison for being greedy and getting caught committing short sale fraud.

Anna McElaney was the listing agent for a property in Bridgeport, Connecticut that was a short sale in which Regions Bank owned two mortgages. In December 2007 she received two offers. The first bidder offered $132,500. Sergio Natera, another real estate agent, offered $102,375 through his company BOS Asset Management. McElaney submitted Natera’s offer and told Regions Bank was the only offer, a fact on which the lender relied when they accepted his offer and released the liens.

McElaney and Natera performed a double-escrow (back-to-back escrow) so that on the same day McElaney closed escrow with Natera, the two of them sold the property to the higher bidder and pocketed the difference.

It is unknown how the two crooked agents were caught, but for committing bank fraud, Anna McElaney received an eight month prison sentence and six months of home confinement in July 2011. Sergio Natera was sentenced last week to two months in prison and three years of supervised release, the first six months being house arrest.

The first two people convicted in a short sale fraud case were prosecuted by United States Attorney Ann M. Nevins of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Connecticut and sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall.

Read the original article in the Bridgeport News.

You can read more about Anna McAlaney and Sergio Natera in my ebook “How to Commit Short Sale Fraud . . . and Get Away with It.”


© Copyright 2007-2017 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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