California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for December, 2008

Guilty Plea in $11 Million Mortgage Fraud in Sacramento

December 26th, 2008 at 12:11pm

The fat lady has sung for a Sacramento man, who has pleaded guilty to orchestrating a mortgage fraud scheme involving $11 million.

Derek Davis, 62, also known as Terry McCullough, admitted his involvement in the scheme at a hearing last week in U.S. District Court, according to federal prosecutors. Davis pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and structuring currency transactions to evade reporting requirements. Charges are still pending against his alleged accomplice, Dino Rosetti.

The 2005 indictment said Davis and Rosetti arranged for buyers to lie on their loan applications about their incomes and jobs. Davis went so far in one instance to loan a buyer $45,000 so her bank account would look healthy to lenders. The loan broker was 1st Option Mortgage, a firm operated by Dino Rosetti. Calorneva Land Company, a firm controlled by Davis, was the holding company through which the excess loan moneys were funneled.

The case was investigated by the FBI, Internal Revenue Service, state Department of Real Estate and El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.

Read the Full Article in The Sacramento Bee.

Allegations of Appraisal Fraud & Title Fraud in Hurst Financial

December 26th, 2008 at 11:44am

Hard money lender Hurst Financial Inc. is not the only San Luis Obispo entity that investors are eyeing for restitution of the millions of dollars that have been lost. Investors and creditors who have lost millions of dollars to local hard money lenders may find financial reprieve through a plethora of entities with dirty hands. Developers, appraisers, title companies, accountants, and bankers may be tangled up in a conspiracy that created this Ponzi scheme that may have that may have already cost thousands of investors, primarily seniors, more than $500 million in non-returned investments.

Cuesta Title may have a bull’s-eye painted on it following its appraisal of developer Kelly Gearhart’s Vista del Hombre property, which the title company showed to be free and clear of all liens and encumbrances, when at the time it had liens exceeding $27 million. By the time the bank had received the appraiser’s report, it had already lent Gearhart another $1 million.

Hurst’s appraiser, Terry L. Pippin, claimed the Vista del Hombre development would be worth more than $100 million if it were completed – and that’s a big “if”. The bank’s appraisal came in at less than 1/4 of Pippin’s appraisal. Pippin is apparently only licensed to conduct residential appraisals.

This story of fraud and financial ruin in the Central Coast is much smaller than Bernard Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, yet is just as devasting for the investors in that region.

Read the Full Article in the CalCoast News.

Huntington Park Broker Arrested for Real Estate Fraud

December 19th, 2008 at 11:14am

Federal prosecutors have indicted Salvadoran citizen Milton Retana on charges of fraud and making false statements. He is accused of setting up a Ponzi scheme in 2006 that targeted the Latino community and victimized more than 2,000 people to the tune of at least $62 million. When federal postal inspectors raided a Spanish-language religious bookstore next door to Best Diamond Funding Corporation, a real estate brokerage and mortgage lending company he owned, they found $3 million in cash stuffed in envelopes.

The bookstore, Libreria del Exito Mundo, is run by Retana’s wife Lydia Campos.

Retana and Best Diamond Funding Corporation are being investigated by both the United States Postal Inspection Service and the California Department of Real Estate.

Read the Full Article in The Los Angeles Times.

Redlands Couple Arrested on Real Estate Fraud Charges

December 19th, 2008 at 10:59am

Charles Stipe, 57, and Brenda Lee Stipe, 58, have been arrested for for felony grand theft for allegedly scamming more than $269,000 from a victim in a real estate scheme, according to a press release issued by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit conducted an extensive criminal investigation into the Stipes, who sold manufactured homes in the Redlands area.

Read the Full Article in Redlands Daily Facts.

4 Charged with Loan Fraud in Salinas

December 19th, 2008 at 10:52am

Four Salinas-area loan professionals and their corporation are facing charges by the Monterey County District Attorney’s Office for fraudulent marketing and unlawful business practices.

Veronick Home Loans, real estate broker Linda Kay Campbell, and real estate professionals Sharline Searle-Livingston, Ronnie Lee Esparza and Blanca M. Rivera have been charged in the civil complaint with engaging in deceptive advertising and fraudulent real estate loan practices.

Read the Full Article in The Californian.

© 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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