California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Realtor® and Home Seller Plead Guilty in San Jose-area Short Sale Fraud

Two persons have pleaded guilty  has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Fresno to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner.

Minerva Sanchez, 48, of Fremont, was the real estate agent for the seller, Agustin Simon, 52.

Simon’s home was located in Patterson, California. According to court documents, he and Sanchez conspired to effect a short sale of his home to Sanchez’ son, who would act as a straw buyer and provided Simon with the hardship letter explaining why he was unable to afford his mortgage payments. Sanchez would later regain title to the property but at a reduced mortgage as a result of the short sale.

As part of her plea agreement, Minerva Sanchez admitted that the lenders lost over $316,000 from her criminal conduct.

Note: most, if not all, lending institutions require short sales to be arm’s-length, meaning that the parties to the transaction may not be known to each other. This is to prevent schemes such as resulted in this prosecution.

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

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

Note: Minerva Sanchez was sentenced to 21 months in prison on February 17, 2015, according to the Modesto Bee.


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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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