California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Bankruptcy Fraud' Category

Long Beach Man Sentenced for “Stay In Your Home Today” Mortgage Fraud

December 6th, 2016 at 8:37am

Long Beach resident Karl Robinson, 52, was sentenced to four years in federal prison after pleading guilty in August to one count of bankruptcy fraud.

Prosecutors had accused Robinson of operating a five-year scheme under his own name and companies he created such as “Stay In Your Home Today,” “21st Century Development” and “Genesis Ventures Corporation.” He purportedly brought in close to $3 million from the distressed homeowners who fell for his scam, which included false promises by Robinson that he could save their homes.

As part of the scheme, Robinson filed falsified grant deeds with county recorders and other fake documents in state court eviction proceedings to make it appear that fictional debtors held interests in the distressed properties. In a plea agreement, Robinson admitted that he misused notary stamps of other individuals in order to fake signatures on legal documents (notary fraud) and that he charged distressed homeowners additional fees if they wanted to unwind fake filings.

“This scheme was never about providing assistance to distressed homeowners,” said U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “It was about lying to distressed homeowners and collecting fees based on false promises. This defendant abused the bankruptcy system and stole identities to perpetrate his fraudulent scheme.”

The case against Robinson was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Frauds Section.

Florida Real Estate Agent Being Prosecuted for Bankruptcy Fraud, Short Sale Fraud

September 22nd, 2016 at 7:34pm

Reafael Sanchez, an Orange County, Florida real estate agent, is facing charges after federal prosecutors said he devised a short sale fraud scheme.

Sanchez is alleged to have concocted a  scheme to help owners in foreclosure to file fraudulent bankruptcy paperwork. The bankruptcy stays would possibly give Sanchez enough time to conduct a short sale of the properties and earn himself a commission.

Federal prosecutors, though, said that over a two-year period, Sanchez collected money and assisted at least 30 homeowners facing foreclosure in filing fraudulent bankruptcies. All of the bankruptcies he helped his clients file were dismissed in 14 or 15 days, according to bankruptcy attorney Scott Shuker.

Sanchez, who faces up to five years in prison, has agreed to make a plea in the case, but a date hasn’t been set.

Read the original article in WFTV Orlando.

Long Beach Pastor Admits to Mortgage Fraud

September 2nd, 2016 at 10:34am

Long Beach pastor Karl Robinson, 52, has pleaded guilty to one count of bankruptcy fraud.

According to the press release by the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California, Robinson would stall the evictions of homeowners who had been foreclosed on by filing fraudulent documents, including phony bankruptcy petitions. For this, he charged the homeowners almost $3 million.

“This defendant filed scores of fraudulent bankruptcy actions — sometimes on multiple occasions in relation to a single property,” U.S. Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “He took advantage of distressed homeowners by stealing identities and lying to them about what he could do for their properties as long as they continued to pay his fees.”

You can read another article about Pastor Robinson’s mortgage fraud in the Long Beach Press Telegram.

Donald Totten Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage Fraud

November 7th, 2014 at 7:37am

Donald Totten, a one-time real estate agent, has been sentenced to 30 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Michael M. Anello.  He had pleaded guilty last February to four felony counts relating to his mortgage fraud, tax, and bankruptcy frauds.

Totten ran his businesses, under the names of AS Money World, Island Financial, and Integrated Home Loans, and according to court documents, made millions of dollars recruiting people to refinance their mortgages with him by running  television commercials. His loan programs were called “adjustable rate negative-amortization loan.” Negative amortization loans allow the borrower to make less than the minimum monthly payment but this results in the principle balance increasing.

“Prosecuting people who have contributed to the mortgage meltdown is one of my top priorities because they have played such a significant role in our nation’s financial turmoil,” said U.S. Attorney Laura Duffy. “My office will not allow individuals to make themselves rich at the expense of the American people and the taxpayers. I am pleased to report that this defendant’s decade-long crime spree is finally over.”

There’s much more to the story of Donald Totten. You can read previous postings about him in the California Real Estate Fraud Report.

Read the original article in the Rancho Santa Fe Review.

Victims in Witch Creek Fire Arraigned on Fraud Charges

October 17th, 2014 at 5:48am

Douglas Tumlinson and Deborah Tumlinson, a couple whose home was destroyed by fire in October 2007, have been arraigned on a 10-count indictment, including conspiracy, money laundering, and providing a false statement on a loan application, said United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy.

The indictment against the Tumlinsons  alleges they took out loans with U.S. Claims and Seaside Funding, Inc. following the wildfire but failed to repay the lenders. They are also accused of failing to list the loan debt they owed to U.S. Claims on their bankruptcy petitions.

Read the original article in


Los Angeles Woman Pleads Guilty in Foreclosure Rescue Fraud Case

July 12th, 2013 at 1:56pm

Jewel Hinkles, aka Cydney Sanchez, 63, has pleaded guilty in Sacramento federal court to bankruptcy fraud with respect to a foreclosure rescue scheme she operated.

The office of U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner noted that Hinkles is the third defendant to plead guilty. Jesse Wheeler, 36, of Roseville and Brent Medearis, 46, of Modesto had previously entered guilty pleas for committing bankruptcy fraud. A fourth defendant, Cynthia Corn, 60, of Oakland, awaits her trial, which begins August 6.

According to an article in the Central Valley Business Times, the businesses and relationships between the defendants was as follows: 

Jewel Hinkles was the founder and general manager of Horizon Property Holdings LLC, in Beverly Hills. That business offered a program from 2008 through 2010 that she called the “Save My Home” or “Homesaver.” The program promised to both prevent foreclosure and to lower the principal balance on the homeowner’s mortgage. Hinkles/Horizon created a template of her program to affiliates, who then offered it to their clients. Two of the affiliates were Jesse Wheeler, who operated JW Financial Solutions in Roseville and Cynthia Corn, who ran Property Relief! in South San Francisco.

Homeowners were allegedly told by the defendants that investors would purchase their homes at a discount and later resell them back to the homowners at prices discounted from the original mortgage. In the meantime, the defendants filed fraudulent deeds transferring a fractional interest in the homeowners’ properties to the Pacifica Group 49/II (title fraud). The defendants allegedly frequently took their deceit a step further by filing fraudulent bankruptcy petitions in order to prevent the lender from foreclosing; hence, the guilty pleas to bankruptcy fraud.

Enrolling in Save My Home and Homesaver was pricey: there were initial upfront payments of from $1,750 to $6,500 and additional monthly fees ranging from $850 to $1,500.

The defendants allegedly made their business(es) very profitable: the indictment states that they took in approximately $4.9 million from over 1,000 homeowners, including those whose mortgages had been sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Terrill Meisinger Pays $5 Million in Mortgage Rescue Scam

August 17th, 2012 at 7:51am

Terrill Meisinger, a Seal Beach resident has settled a case with federal prosecutors who accused him of operating a foreclosure rescue scam.

Meisinger agreed to pay $5 million as a penalty in the case, which ran from 2000-2004. Prosecutors out of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles accused Meisinger of convincing down-on-their-luck homeowners to deed their properties to him for cash payments of $500 to $1,500. He then transferred the title to third parties and filed bankruptcies that caused automatic stays to be placed on the foreclosure proceedings (bankruptcy fraud). The third parties had no awareness of the scheme, as their identities had been stolen by Meisinger, who then rented out the properties out to unsuspecting parties.

While I’m glad that Terrill Meisinger is paying back his ill-gotten gains, I’m very disappointed that prosecutors did not put him in prison, where he belongs, in my opinion.

Read the original article in the Los Angeles Times.

“Extreme Greed” says judge to Newport Coast mortgage fraud defendant

April 9th, 2010 at 10:03am

Before imposing his sentence of 5 years on the defendant, U.S. District Court Judge Stephen V. Wilson lectured Lorenzo Espinoza, 43, for having “extreme greed”.

Espinoza pleaded guilty in 2006 to conspiracy to defraud the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was ordered to make restitution to HUD of more than $614,000. He also pleaded guilty to bankrupty fraud, money laundering and failing to pay federal taxes for more than ten years. His ill-gotten gains stemmed from the purchases of residential properties using straw buyers and allowing them to go into foreclosure. The bankruptcy fraud occurred when Espinoza did not declare his Rolex watch, his Ferraris or Lamborghini, which he had sold and tried to launder the money for use after the bankruptcy.

Read the full article in the Orange County Register, aka OC Register.

Husband and Wife Charged with Mortgage Fraud in San Diego

January 30th, 2009 at 9:10am

A husband and wife were charged  with mortgage fraud, false statements on loan applications, bankruptcy fraud, contempt of court, perjury and money laundering in a recently unsealed federal indictment. The couple, Justine Lorraine Rice, 45, and Wendell Anthony Rice, 45, formerly of Rancho Santa Fe, were arrested in Escondido, according to the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Justine Rice allegedly lied and falsified documents to obtain a mortgage to buy a home in Rancho Santa Fe. When Rice filed for bankruptcy two years later, she arranged for a straw buyer to purchase the home, which was in foreclosure, by falsifying documents. She may have also committed escrow fraud by managing to divert the proceeds to an account controlled by Wendell Rice.

Read the Full Article in the San Diego North County Times.

© 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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