The mortgage scam targeted the elderly and financially distressed homeowners by promising them foreclosure relief. The combined losses from the victims was more than $7 million, said California Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
Becerra told the media that people who prey on vulnerable communities in the state to enrich themselves would be held accountable by the California justice system.
121-Count Indictment Includes Conspiracy, Grand Theft, and Elder Abuse
Steven Rogers, Robert Sedlar, and Audrey Gan were arrested by California law enforcement and charged in a 121-count indictment with conspiracy, grand theft, elder abuse, filing forged documents in a public office, and engaging in a prohibited act as a foreclosure consultant. The indictment was issued by a grand jury in Sacramento Superior Court.
Mortgage fraud victims were in Northern and Southern California, as well as the Central Valley. Three of the victims reside in San Diego County, with properties in Ramona, Imperial Beach, and San Diego.
Grandview Financial Promised to Eliminate Mortgage Liens
The indictment reads that Grandview Financial offered mortgage assistance to people who were going into foreclosure from 2015-2019. Rogers, Sedlar, and Gan told homeowners that if they transferred the title of their property and paid Grand View Financial, the company would wipe out the mortgage lien and deed the property back to the homeowner without any liens.
The scam including filing false court proceedings, fake documents with county recorders and false Chapter 7 bankruptcies.
Grand View Financial filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2017. That bankruptcy was dismissed. At that time, the company stated that its business address was in Los Angeles. It is unknown where the three accused live. (Mercurynews.com).
The white-collar crime team at the California Department of Justice worked with several federal agencies, including the US Marshals Service and the US Trustee Program.
People who believe they were targeted in the mortgage fraud scheme by Grand View Financial should contact the California Department of Justice at 800-952-5225.
Massachusetts Man Charged with Mortgage Fraud That Targeted Immigrant Families
There are many other mortgage fraud schemes being stopped in the US, as well. In late October, a Massachusetts man was charged with mortgage fraud in a scheme that netted him nearly $154,000. (Thesunchronicle.com).
Nuhu Mohammed, 60, was indicted by a Massachusetts grand jury and arrested by the Massachusetts State Police at the end of October. He was arraigned on October 29 in Norfolk Superior Court and held on a bail of $50,000. Mohammed also was ordered not to have any contact with the mortgage fraud victims.
Accused Pretended to Be a Mortgage Broker or Attorney
According to court documents, Mohammed pretended to be a mortgage broker or attorney from 2012 to July 2019, promising mortgage fraud victims that he could help them get mortgages or loan modifications. He would send them letters and emails pretending to be a broker or lawyer and would set up face-to-face meetings where he would offer assistance with their mortgage problems.
Mohammed proceeded to collect thousands of dollars from the fraud victims, many of whom were going into foreclosure, but he did not provide any assistance in getting them mortgages or modifying the mortgage loans.
The accused also allegedly directed clients to give him all emails and letters between the clients and loan services. He also asked that any letters they received not to be opened so they would not discover that he had not given them any mortgage assistance.
Because of Mohammed’s alleged actions, one family lost two homes to foreclosure, and all victims lost thousands of dollars.
Investigators were aware that Mohammed mostly targeted immigrant families and exploited their ignorance about the residential mortgage business and loan modification process, as well as their limited ability to speak English. The Massachusetts aG office also alleges the man used the social security number of one of his victims to open several credit cards in her name without her consent.
$152,333 Allegedly Stolen from Mortgage Fraud Victims
The state accuses Mohammed of stealing $152,333 from clients, including the money that he charged on the two credit cards.
The state investigation is ongoing, and the Attorney Genera’s Office believes Mohammed has used many aliases to hide his identity.
Mohammed is facing charges of larceny over $250; larceny over $250 by a single scheme; larceny over $1200 by a single scheme; forgery, uttering, identity fraud; false material statements or omissions during or in connection with the mortgage lending process; fraudulent use of credit cards to obtain money, goods or services, and common and notorious theft.
If he is convicted on all counts, Mohammed faces more than 20 years in state prison.
3 More Californians Accused of Mortgage Fraud and Sentenced to Prison
A California US District judge sentenced three defendants last week to prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud in a mortgage fraud scam, according to California US Attorney McGregor Scott. (Davisenterprise.com)
Moctezuma Tovar, 50, was sentenced to 50 months in state prison; Jun Dirain, 47, was sentenced to six months; and Sandra Hermosillo 57, was sentenced to nine months of home detention.
Court documents stated that Tovar was the owner of Delta Homes and Lending, a Sacramento-based real estate and mortgage lending company that is now out of business.
From October 2004 until May 2007, the three defendants conspired to obtain home loans from several lenders based on phony loan applications and supporting documents that inaccurately represented the borrowers’ income and assets, liabilities, and employment status.
The company provided money to mortgage loan applicants to boost their bank balances to make it easier to get loans. Once the loans were approved, the borrowers gave the money back to the defendants. The total sale price of all the homes involved in the scam was more than $10 million. As a result of the fraud, the mortgage companies that provided the loans lost more than $4 million.