Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Foreclosure Rescue Scammer Convicted On State Charges Now Chased By Feds For Running Same Racket While Being Prosecuted In Earlier Case

In Northern California, The Modesto Bee reports:

  • Facing foreclosure, a Turlock homeowner two weeks ago signed over part interest in his property to a man who promised to save the family home.

  • The owner didn't want to talk about it Thursday in a brief telephone conversation. Chances are, he didn't know that his would-be savior was convicted of fraud only three weeks before the transaction while out of custody to await sentencing in state prison.

  • Now federal authorities are after Alan David Tikal, whose collaborators — including unidentified agents in Stanislaus County — preyed on at least 590 mortgage reduction victims with more than $201 million at stake, according to an affidavit released Thursday to The Bee.

  • "The scheme continued to operate while Tikal was incarcerated and after his release," Special Agent Joseph Camillucci says in the document. He works for President Barack Obama's Troubled Asset Relief Program and apparently continued to track Tikal's companies after his February arrest on a grand jury indictment from Alameda County.

  • Tikal's attorney in the state case, Fanya Young, could not be reached Thursday. Tikal and his KATN Trust appeared to have dealings with at least 20 families in Stanislaus County detected by The Bee through property records earlier this year. But he was charged only in Alameda County and remained in custody until pleading no contest on Halloween to two felony counts.

  • His plea deal would net a 16-month term in state prison; the prosecutor in that case has said a judge could impose a three-year, eight-month sentence if Tikal fails to appear at a sentencing scheduled for Dec. 21.

  • Previously based in Las Vegas, Tikal and his wife moved to Brentwood in Contra Costa County, where she and others continued the scheme, the affidavit says. Federal agents served search warrants Wednesday on their house, which doubles as an office, a TARP spokesman in Washington, D.C., said.

  • Federal authorities believe Tikal and his associates engage in mail and bank fraud — bread-and-butter offenses opening a door for federal prosecution.


  • A webinar observed by The Bee suggested Tikal relied on a "vapor money" theory, telling homeowners they could get out of traditional loans because the government backs banks with "vague promises" and not gold. He told customers he was a private banker with "access to enormous lines of credit in the banking industry."

For more, see Released mortgage fraudster re-offends (Turlock homeowner among his new victims).

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