California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Hollywood Actor and Tax Preparer Charged in $3.8 Million Mortgage Fraud

An actor and a certified tax preparer have each pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a mortgage fraud scheme that allowed the actor, Tommy Lister, to acquire title to four homes by falsifying income and bank statements.

Lister, 54, who could not afford the homes and who unsurprisingly lost them to foreclosure, is alleged to have used the services of Arcelia Chavez, 48, who he stated supplied him with a false W-2, false pay stub and a false CPA statement so that he could get one of the mortgages and a HELOC (home equity line of credit). He admitted that in addition to misrepresenting his financial status to the lenders that he neglected to inform the lenders that he would be receiving kickbacks from the sellers after escrow closed.

The court documents charge that the scheme operated from November 2005 through June 2007.

Sami Sager Sweiss, previously a Woodland Hills-based mortgage loan officer, pleaded guilty this July to one conspiracy count before United States District Judge Dale S. Fischer He was later sentenced to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

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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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