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Archive for June, 2014

“Keeping My Property” Owner Charged with Defrauding Contra Costa Homeowners

June 20th, 2014 at 8:37am

Marc Stanley Cooper, 60, has been charged by the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office with 21 counts of elder financial abuse, foreclosure fraud and grand theft.

Prosecutors said Cooper solicited homeowners in distress for money to negotiate a reduction in their mortgages but did not do so, instead defrauding the 15 homeowners.

“He is an experienced con man who promised individuals who were suffering with overly large mortgages that he could reduce their mortgages as well as modify their loans,” said Deputy District Attorney Ken McCormick, of the District Attorney’s real estate fraud unit. “In reality, he was embezzling and defrauding them.”

Read the original article in the Mercury News.

Yorba Linda Man Pleads Guilty in Sacramento to Mortgage Fraud

June 19th, 2014 at 12:18pm

U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced that Joseph Gekko, 45, a Yorba Linda man, pleaded guilty in Sacramento U.S. District Court to three counts of wire fraud having to do with a mortgage fraud scheme.

Gekko’s guilty plea is another in the long-running prosecution of persons involved with Loomis Wealth Solutions.

According to investigators and prosecutors, Gekko was part of a mortgage fraud scheme that caused over $10 million in losses to institutional lenders.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

Santa Rosa Man Convicted in Mortgage Elimination Scheme

June 19th, 2014 at 11:46am

Ronald Cupp, 59, of Santa Rosa man, was convicted of running a mortgage elimination scheme that targeted homeowners in distress in Sonoma and Marin counties.

Cupp promised, through his Rohnert Park-based business, North Bay Trust Services, to actually eliminate mortgage debt in exchange for $7,500 advance fees and 30% of whatever debt he “killed,” according to prosecutor Amy Ariyoshi. A sign outside of his business read “Mortgage problems?”

In the end, Cupp, who represented himself, was convicted of 15 felonies, including forgery and falsifying documents.

Read the original article in the Press Democrat.

Camarillo Woman Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage Fraud

June 19th, 2014 at 11:32am

United States District Court Judge John A. Kronstadt sentenced Rosa Fernandez, 38, of Camarillo, to 97 months in federal prison for the role she played in defrauding banks by falsifying applications by borrowers.

After being arrested in 2010 and charged along with nine other persons, Fernandez pleaded guilty in February 2012 to three counts of bank fraud. Shockingly, while awaiting sentencing, Fernandez defrauded a lender on one of her own properties while attempting a loan modification, for which she later pleaded guilty.

As part of her punishment, Rosa Fernandez must pay restitution to the banks of $3,646,485.

This large mortgage fraud scheme was investigated by numerous local and federal agencies, as follows: the FBI Ventura Resident Agency and the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office, IRS-Criminal Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Housing and Finance Administration-Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.

Read the original article in the Imperial Valley News.

Petaluma Owners of Mortgage Modifiers Appear in Bankruptcy Court

June 6th, 2014 at 8:21am

Miguel Angel Lopez-Soleta and his wife, Heidi Beth Marks-Lopez have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy following a criminal investigation into Lopez-Soleta’s firm Mortgage Modifiers, Inc.

Mortgage Modifiers claimed to help homeowners who were underwater to save their homes by restructuring their debt. But at the hearing, dozens of Lope-Soleta’s creditors accused him of taking thousands of dollars from them and failing to follow through with lenders, causing them to lose their homes or drop deeper into debt.

Calling Lopez-Soleta and Mars-Lopez “Hey, snake!” “Hey slime ball!”, the creditors and their attorneys claimed that the couple stole their money, and instead of using to help them as promised, financed a life of luxury, including expensive vacations, jewelry and other extravagant purchases.

Read the original article in the Press Democrat.

Crisp & Cole Associates Receive Sentences

June 6th, 2014 at 8:13am

Christopher Lance Stovall, 41, a loan officer with Tower Lending, was sentenced to 12 months in prison. After he serves this sentence, Stovall must go through 30 months of supervised release. According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, he “knowingly” caused false statements to be made in loan application he processed on behalf of straw buyers for Crisp & Cole.

Megan Balod, 34, was a straw buyer for Crisp & Cole. She was sentenced to 36 months of probation for four counts of mail fraud and aiding and abetting.

Read the original article in KERO-TV.

Long-standing Fight over Lake Miller-adjacent Land

June 6th, 2014 at 8:06am

A member of a family who has owned over 100 acres of property in San Diego is pursuing her mission to expose a public corruption scam in which she accuses San Diego City of illegally incorporating her family’s property near Lake Murray  “into a bogus city park and charging the public illegal park usage fees to access our property.”

Merrilee Miller of Goleta sent the San Diego District Attorney’s Office680-word letter indicating the real estate fraud complaint she had filed as of November 2011 to that effect. Although Anthony Samson, the now-former chief of the fraud division had written her “After reviewing your request for investigation, we have concluded that the facts presented indicate there is no basis for further action at this time,” Miller claims Samson told her over the phone that ‘The city is simply playing games with you.’ 

The story of Miller’s and her family’s efforts to reacquire their land were detailed by the San Diego Reader in June 2007 and in several La Mesa Patch stories.

Read the original article in the Times of San Diego.

Roseville Renter Credited with Stopping Craigslist Rent Fraud

June 5th, 2014 at 7:14am

A prospective renter who met a woman claiming to have a home for rent on Craigslist is credited with stopping a rent fraud scheme.

After one of the prospective renters became suspicious, she drove by the home and discovered that not only was it for sale but that the property owners had not authorized anybody to rent it. The prospective renter contacted Roseville police, who arrested 23-year-old Krissi Peede, charging her with fraud and other crimes.

Read the original article in News10.Net.

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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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