California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Notary Fraud Gets Escrow Officer and Accomplice Arrested

Why would a real estate professional risk their license and their freedom to make literally, a few dollars?

Apparently that’s what Christi Fry, aka Christi Martin, might have done. Fry, of West Covina, was arrested at Seller’s Choice Escrow earlier this week and charged by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, just one day short of the statute of limitations expiring, according to investigator Martin Landrum. She and her alleged co-conspirator, Omar Paz, of Rancho Cucamonga, are being held in lieu of $450,000 and $850,000 bonds respectively.

The events leading to the arrests began when Omar Paz and his wife divorced. Paz sold his home and Fry handled both the escrow and notary duties for the sale. Paz later transferred most of the money from the joint account he held with his wife that were the profits from the sale into an account he alone held. The fraud was discovered during the divorce proceedings, when Paz’ ex-wife noticed that her name had been forged on disclosure forms, escrow instructions and the grant deed to the new buyers.

Notarizing a document as containing an original signature requires the presence of the signer and positive identification. Probably because she overlooked that not-so-minor detail, Fry’s notary license was  revoked after a separate investigation by the California Secretary of State’s Office.

Read the Full Article in the San Bernardino Sun by Frank C. Girardot.

© 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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