California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Los Angeles Archdiocese Sued by Widow Claiming Priest Committed Elder Financial Abuse

The Archdiocese of Los Angeles has suspended a priest from affiliated with St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Palmdale after a widow accused him of conning her out of almost $300,000.

According to Tod Tamberg, an archdiocese spokesman, Father Peter Valdez has been placed on administrative leave after Michalena Jones, 79, filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese, complaining that Father Valdez befriended Jones after her husband died in 2003. He convinced her to not only give him $150,000 to purchase a $620,000 home in Downey in 2006 but also to add him to her checking account, from which he made the mortgage payments. He sold the home in 2010 for $330,000, presumably in a short sale.

The lawsuit, which accuses both Father Valdez and the archdiocese of elder abuse and fraud, was filed only after Mrs. Jones’ son placed her in a convalescent home and reviewed her finances. It was filed, according to William McMillan, attorney for the Jones family, after family members informed the archdiocese of the alleged theft but received no action as a result.

Read the original article in the Los Angeles Times.

© 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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