California Real Estate Fraud Report

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James Duncan Sentenced to 19 Years, Restitution for Orchestrating $142 Million Real Estate Fraud

James Duncan, who both masterminded the $142 million real estate and investment fraud that rocked Riverside County and who then cooperated with prosecutors to obtain convictions against his former colleagues, has had this plea-bargain sentence imposed.

Riverside County Superior Court Judge Michele Levine ordered Duncan to serve 19 years and eight months in state prison after accepting the recommendation of Chief Deputy District Attorney Vicki Hightower.

Duncan must also pay $3.4 million in restitution to 33 victims, who lived in several states.

James Duncan acted as a central witness in the trials of his former business partner Hendrix Montecastro and Montecastro’s mother Helen Pedrino in what prosecutors described was a massive Ponzi scheme. Montecastro and Pedrino have filed motions for new trials following their convictions.

Previous guilty pleas and sentences have been imposed on Maurice McLeod, a top associate, Charlie Sung Choi, Cindi Grace Kelly and Thuan Nhan Du.

Read the original article in the Press Enterprise.

© 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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