California Real Estate Fraud Report

You have just entered the #1 private-sector resource on the Internet for real estate fraud. In doing so, you have voluntarily left the dimension of the conventional real estate world and crossed over to the Dark Side, the realm where greed, dishonesty and evil are the order of the day. Sign up for a free subscription to this comprehensive news resource and receive weekly, timely news reports about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, title fraud, loan fraud, appraisal fraud, affinity fraud, loan modification scams, securities fraud and elder financial fraud. *** AS OF NOVEMBER 2017, THE CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE FRAUD REPORT IS 10 YEARS OLD! ***

Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Three Men in Bakersfield Sentenced for Running Foreclosure Rescue Scam

July 25th, 2017 at 9:58am

A federal judge in Fresno sentenced three men to prison for operating a foreclosure rescue scam in Bakersfield and two other California cities.

Norwalk resident Martin Calzada, 30, received nine years; Juan Curiel, 38, of Visalia, received three years and five months; and Santiago Palacios-Hernandez, 48, of Salinas was sentenced to two years and nine months.

In addition, all three were ordered to pay over $1.1 million in restitution to their victims and federal mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Read the entire article in the Kern Golden Empire.

San Mateo County Gets Aggressive in Chasing Real Estate Fraud, Mortgage Fraud

May 5th, 2017 at 9:24am

According to the San Mateo Daily Journal, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office is going to be aggressively investigating people attempting to take out fraudulent liens on a property (title fraud), trying to con the elderly out of their homes (elder financial abuse, elder financial fraud) or anyone falsifying real estate documents.

With a new $3 document recording fee and property values rising, the County Board of Supervisors set up a Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Trust Fund that will be used to investigate criminals.

District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe and his office have received almost 300 complaints of real estate fraud since 2014.

Loomis Man Sentenced for Third Fraud Scheme

December 8th, 2016 at 5:29pm

Loomis resident Peter Kuzmenko, 38, has been sentenced to 6.5 years for his part in a fraud scheme and ordered to pay $573,332 in restitution to the IRS, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.

The prison sentence amounts to nothings, as Kuzmenko, who was previously convicted in two mortgage fraud cases in California’s Easterrtgage fraud cases in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California, will serve his sentence concurrently with the 21 years in prison has has received for those cases.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

Always Hire a Professional

September 30th, 2016 at 7:58am

Looking up properties on Zillow or Redfin doesn’t make you a real estate agent. Do it right: hire a licensed professional.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Announces Settlement Over Allegations of Illegally Evicting Military Servicemembers

August 11th, 2016 at 8:27pm

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris today announced that California has reached a $252,000 settlement with two privatized military housing contractors over the companies’ unlawful evictions of 18 military servicemembers and their families from private military housing complexes in San Diego and Orange Counties.

Attorney General Harris argued that these evictions violated the California Military and Veterans Code, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, and other state debt collection laws which protect servicemembers who are sued while serving on active military duty and are therefore unable to appear and defend themselves in court.  These laws prevent the entry of a default judgment unless a lawyer has been appointed to represent the interests of the absent servicemember, and they prohibit the use of false statements to collect a debt.  In addition, the contractors allegedly violated California privacy laws by filing court documents that included unredacted Social Security numbers, birth dates, or other personal information of nearly 100 servicemembers and military family members.

Read the full press release on the website of the State of California Department of Justice Office of the Attorney General.

Monterey Woman Sentenced for Financial Elder Abuse

March 11th, 2016 at 12:30pm

A woman entrusted with managing an 82-year-old Pacific Grove man’s properties in addition to his care received 180 day sentence to jail and three years probation.

Ilagene “Jeanie” Quaglia was convicted of felony elder abuse after authorities alleged she had skimmed the man’s rental checks, overcharged for items and services on the rental properties and writing herself checks for unauthorized purposes.

Ilagene “Jeanie” Quaglia was charged with stealing from an 82-year-old Pacific Grove man who she cared for and managed his rental properties.

Read the original article in KSBW.

Attorney General Kamala D. Harris Reaches $470 Million Joint State-Federal Settlement with HSBC to Address Mortgage Loan Origination, Servicing, and Foreclosure Abuses

February 5th, 2016 at 10:21am
Thursday, February 4, 2016
Contact: (415) 703-5837,

Agreement to provide certain California borrowers with loan modifications; foreclosed HSBC loans may be eligible for payments for past abuse 

SAN FRANCISCO – Today Attorney General Kamala D. Harris announced that California will join the U.S. Department of Justice, Department of Housing and Urban Development, and 48 other states in entering into a consent judgment with mortgage lender and servicer HSBC over its mortgage faulty servicing practices. This ruling will address mortgage origination, servicing, and foreclosure abuses perpetuated by HSBC.

“California homeowners worked hard and played by the rules to stay in their homes during the housing crisis, but for too many, their struggle and sacrifice was met by abusive mortgage servicing practices,” said Attorney General Harris. “This settlement holds HSBC accountable for its abusive practices that manipulated people fighting to stay in their homes. I encourage eligible borrowers who receive a claim form and feel they were a victim of HSBC’s practices to file a claim immediately.”

Under the terms of the agreement, HSBC will pay $100 million in cash, of which $59.3 million will be used to distribute payments to borrowers whose homes were foreclosed upon between 2008 and 2013, and $40.5 million will be paid to the federal government. The agreement also requires HSBC to provide $370 million in other consumer relief, such as loan modifications, principal reductions, and loan refinancing.

Based on foreclosure numbers, it is estimated that California borrowers are eligible for about 10% of the $59.3 million fund for payments to foreclosed borrowers.

This agreement is very similar to the National Mortgage Settlement of 2012, in which Attorney General Harris secured a historic $20 billion for California homeowners affected by the mortgage crisis. In 2014, Attorney General Harris announced several multimillion dollar settlements regarding mortgage fraud crime, including a national settlement with SunTrust Mortgage that provided $40 million in payments and $500 million in consumer relief nationwide; a national settlement with Bank of America in which California recovered $300 million in damages and $500 million in consumer relief credits; and a national settlement with Citigroup in which California recovered $102.7 million in damages and $90 million in consumer relief.

Additional information concerning today’s announcement is listed below.

Loan Modifications

The HSBC agreement requires the company to provide certain California borrowers with loan modifications or other relief. The modifications, which HSBC chooses through an extensive list of options, include principal reductions and refinancing for underwater mortgages. HSBC decides how many loans and which loans to modify, but must meet certain minimum targets. Because HSBC receives only partial settlement credit for many types of loan modifications, the settlement will provide relief to borrowers that will exceed the overall minimum amount.

Payments to Borrowers

Approximately 7,526 eligible California borrowers whose loans were serviced by HSBC and who lost their home to foreclosure from January 1, 2008 through December 31, 2012 and encountered servicing abuse will be eligible for a payment from the national $59.3 million fund for payments to borrowers. The borrower payment amount will depend on how many borrowers file claims.

Eligible borrowers will be contacted about how to qualify for payments.

Mortgage Servicing Standards

The settlement requires HSBC to substantially change how it services mortgage loans, handles foreclosures, and ensures the accuracy of information provided in federal bankruptcy court.

The terms will prevent past foreclosure abuses, such as robo-signing, improper documentation, and lost paperwork.

The settlement’s consumer protections and standards include:

  • Making foreclosure a last resort by first requiring HSBC to evaluate homeowners for other loss mitigation options;
  • Restricting foreclosure while the homeowner is being considered for a loan modification;
  • Procedures and timelines for reviewing loan modification applications;
  • Giving homeowners the right to appeal denials; and

Requiring a single point of contact for borrowers seeking information about their loans and maintaining adequate staff to handle calls.

Independent Monitor

The National Mortgage Settlement’s independent monitor, Joseph A. Smith Jr., will oversee HSBC agreement compliance for one year. Smith served as the North Carolina Commissioner of Banks from 2002 until 2012, and is also the former Chairman of the Conference of State Banks Supervisors (CSBS). Smith will oversee implementation of the servicing standards required by the agreement and issue public reports that identify whether HSBC complied or fell short of the standards imposed by the settlement. If HSBC is alleged to have violated terms of the agreement, the states and federal agencies can seek relief through the court.

Additional Terms

The agreement resolves potential violations of civil law based on HSBC’s deficient mortgage loan origination and servicing activities. The agreement does not prevent state or federal authorities from pursuing criminal enforcement actions related to this or other conduct by HSBC, or from punishing wrongful securitization conduct that is the focus of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Working Group. Additionally, the agreement does not prevent any action by individual borrowers who wish to bring their own lawsuits.

The agreement will be filed as a consent judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. 

For more information on how to file a claim against a business/company, visit:

Several Jara family members sentenced to prison

October 16th, 2015 at 10:23am

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Fresno announced the following sentences for members of the Jara family, who used straw buyers to purchase home loans based on fraudulent loan applications from 2007 to 2010.

Eliseo Jara Jr. received  6 1/2 years in prison and was ordered to pay $4.3 million in restitution.

Eliseo’s brother Sergio Jara was sentenced to six and a half years in prison and was ordered to pay $3,249,624 in restitution.

Sergio Jara’s wife, Melissa Rochelle Jara was sentenced to time served, five years on supervised release and was ordered to pay $271,171 in restitution.

The court ordered the Jaras to forfeit their interests in six Bakersfield properties.

Read the original article in

Note: There are numerous articles about the Jara family that can be located by using the Search tool on the left side of this blog.

Tamara Tikal sentenced to prison for KATN mortgage rescue scam

July 22nd, 2015 at 3:38pm

Tamara Tikal, 45, the wife of convicted felon Alan David Tikal,  has been sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for her role in the KATN foreclosure rescue scam run by her husband and Ray Kornfeld. She was previously convicted of conspiring to commit mail fraud in a scheme that defrauded the victimized homeowners of over $5.8 million.

Alan Tikal, 46 was sentenced to 24 years in prison earlier this year after being convicted of 11 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering. Ray Kornfield was sentenced to five years in prison in February 2015 and ordered to pay $3 million in restitution, according to a press release by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California.

Alan Tikal’s prosecutors accused him of operating a business called KATN between January 7, 2010 and August 20, 2013, which sought “vulnerable and non-English speaking homeowners.” Tikal, who falsely claimed that he was a registered private banker, promised homeowners that he could reduce their mortgages by 75% in exchange for upfront fees and other payments. Prosecutors said there was no evidence that the Tikals or Kornfeld helped to get the mortgage debt of their victims forgiven or paid-off and that in fact they spent the monies they received on expensive cars, clothes and travel expenses.

Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, said that after Alan Tikal was arrested and in jail, he continued to run his scam and that Tamara Tikal helped pay employee salaries, notarized documents and opened and maintained post office boxes and bank accounts that received payments from the homeowners.

Tamara Tikal was also ordered to pay $3,671,000 in restitution to victims of the offense.

“Tamara Tikal was sentenced to 45 months in federal prison for her role in a massive fraud scheme that robbed more than one thousand struggling homeowners out of millions of dollars in savings with false promises of saving victims’ homes from foreclosure,” Romero said. “Those who engage in fraud related to TARP will be brought to justice by SIGTARP and our law enforcement partners.”

Read the original article in HousingWire.

Ojai woman sentenced in foreclosure fraud, short sale fraud case

July 22nd, 2015 at 3:15pm

Ojai  resident Nelly Luz Rubiano has been sentenced by Ventura County Superior Court Judge David Hirsch to one year in county jail. The 58-year-old had previously pleaded guilty to charges of felony grand theft and foreclosure consultant fraud.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Tony Wold argued that Rubiano presented herself to her fellow Hispanics as a specialist in loan modifications and referred people to Foreclosure Legal Services, located in the city of Orange. As with the Herrera prosecution (also by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, click here to read), victims were promised their homes would be purchased and sold back to them at a reduced price and they were illegally charged advance/upfront fees for services that were not delivered.

Read the original article in


© Copyright 2007-2018 Monique Bryher

Legal Disclaimer.

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.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author, except for the inclusion of BRIEF QUOTATIONS in a review.


Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.