Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Operator In Foreclosure Rescue Racket Involving Unwitting Homeowners, Forged Deeds, Rent Skimming Frog-Marched Off To State Prison For 12-Year Stay

In San Diego, California, KGTV Channel 10 reports:

  • A man was sentenced on Tuesday to 12 years in state prison for participating in a multimillion-dollar foreclosure fraud scheme in which notaries' identities were stolen and hundreds of deeds forged across California.

  • John Zepeda, 60, pleaded guilty last year to multiple felony charges, including rent skimming, forgery, identity theft and conspiracy to commit grand theft. Zepeda agreed to pay $6 million in restitution, but further hearings are needed to verify the loss amount.

  • Zepeda's 59-year-old brother, David, is charged in a related case with co-defendants Carlos M. Torres and Patricia Torres.

  • The conspiracy, which prosecutors called "huge" and "brazen," involved hundreds of victims in San Diego, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, Orange, Ventura, Riverside and Los Angeles counties, as well as Nevada's Clark County.

  • According to prosecutors, the defendants would hold seminars for people hoping to save their homes from foreclosure. Authorities allege the Zepeda brothers identified properties in foreclosure and acquired title either by forging a quitclaim deed – which transfers the property into a trust – or convincing homeowners to transfer the property to them by promising the homeowner they would help avoid foreclosure. Once they had acquired the title, the Zepedas would rent out the property, prosecutors said.

For more, see Man Sentenced For Foreclosure Fraud Scheme (John Zepeda Sentenced To 12 Years In Prison).

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