California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Rare Prosecution of Short Sale Fraud in Northern California

A Fremont real estate agent was arrested this week after being indicted by a federal grand jury in connection with helping a man commit short sale fraud in the sale of his home.

Minerva Sanchez, 47, was arrested and arraigned in San Jose federal court, where she pleaded not guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud.

In a case dating back to March 2010 in which authorities allege lender Tri Counties Bank and Freddie Mac collectively lost over $350,000 Sanchez represented Agustin Simon, 52, in the short sale of his home located in Patterson. Sanchez is accused of recommending that he use her son as a straw buyer to purchase the home in a short sale. The idea was that Simon would eventually take title back to his home.

Before a lender approves a short sale, the seller must submit a letter detailing financial hardship and both the seller and his agent must sign an “arm’s length” affidavit affirming the sale is to a buyer unrelated to the seller by relation, business or acquaintance. Prosecutors said both Simon and Sanchez fraudulently signed the arm’s-length affidavit and both misrepresented his ownership of other real estate assets. Simon allegedly had enough money that he was able to give $355,000 to Sanchez’ son to effect the purchase. Both lenders ultimately approved the short sale.

In addition to receiving commission for representing Simon, Minerva Sanchez also received 75% of the commission paid to her son’s real estate agent.

It is not known whether Sanchez’ son is being charged in this case.

In June 2013, Agustin Simon pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit bank fraud in connection.

Read the original article in the Modesto Bee.

You can learn everything about short sale fraud by reading my e-book “How to Commit Short Sale Fraud . . . and Get Away with It.”

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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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