Friday, May 4, 2012

San Bernardino DA: Scammer Used Forged Signatures To Record 'Dirty' Deeds On Homes In F'closure, Then Renting To Tenants, Borrowing From Duped Lenders

From the Office of the San Bernardino, California District Attorney:

  • An Upland man who was arrested [...] by investigators with the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office has been charged with real estate fraud, identity theft, forgery, and preparing fraudulent credit applications. Thirty-eight-year-old Eric Lamonte Smith was arraigned [] in San Bernardino Superior Court. He pleaded not guilty to all counts.

  • The investigation began after investigators received a fraud complaint from a Notary Public who alleged that her signature and seal had been forged on a Grant Deed. As a result, investigators opened a criminal investigation which eventually revealed that Smith had been part of a suspected real estate fraud ring operating in San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles counties since 2006.

  • The suspects allegedly filed fraudulent Grant Deeds on properties that were in the process of being foreclosed, causing the process to be delayed. The suspects would then rent the property to unsuspecting renters.

  • The suspects would also fraudulently obtain Home Equity Lines of credit on the properties, as well as use false information on credit applications to purchase luxury automobiles.
For the San Bernardino County DA press release, see DA Charges Upland Man With Real Estate Fraud.

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