California Real Estate Fraud Report

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California AG Arrests 2 in Los Angeles for Mortgage Fraud

The Office of California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris sent out a press release today announcing it has arrested and charged two persons with 41 felonies, including grand theft, burglary, unlawful collection of advance fees, tax evasion and conspiracy in what it terms was “a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme.”

The suspects,  Joana Sosa, age 54 of Gardena, and Zoila Ortega, age 31 of Gardena, also face special enhancements for excessive taking and aggravated white-collar crime for losses to victims exceeding $350,000. Sosa and Ortega are alleged to have targeted member of their own community of Spanish-speaking homeowners (affinity fraud, ethnic fraud).

According to Attorney General Harris, “As the mortgage crisis continues, we are seeing a troubling rise in fraud that targets struggling homeowners, including those with limited English language skills.  The predators targeting these victims are ruthless, and I am proud of our prosecutors and special agents for helping to bring them to justice.” Deputy Attorney General David Peyman will be prosecuting this case.

The complaint against Sosa and Ortega accuses them, from 2008 – 2010, of charging their victims advance fees, promising them new mortgage payments they could afford and promising to protect their client-victims from eviction, which is exactly what happened to most of them.

In addition to the Attorney General’s Office / Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, the alleged crimes were initially investigated by the Los Angeles County Department of Consumer Affairs Real Estate Fraud Unit.


© 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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