Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Sacramento Feds Score Jury Verdict Over Brothers Who 'Headed' Up Nationwide Sale Leaseback-Peddling, Equity Stripping Foreclosure Racket; Most Co-Conspirators Copped Earlier Plea Deals; 2nd Prosecution Involving Separate Ripoff Remains Pending

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Sacramento, California):

  • After a nearly four-week trial, a federal jury in Sacramento returned guilty verdicts against Charles Head, 36, of Pittsburg, Pa., (formerly of Los Angeles), and Jeremy Michael “Mike” Head, 33, of Huntington Beach, United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced. Both were convicted of conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a nationwide “foreclosure rescue” scam. Charles Head was convicted of four counts of mail fraud, and Mike Head was convicted of two counts of mail fraud.(1)

    According to evidence presented at trial, Charles Head was the leader of a scam that, operating through an entity called Head Financial located in Orange County, between January 2004 and March 2006 netted more than $15 million in fraudulently obtained funds from scores of homeowners, many of whom were in California.

    On February 28, 2008, a federal grand jury indicted Charles Head, Mike Head and 14 other defendants with violations of mail fraud, conspiracy to commit mail fraud, and other charges. The grand jury narrowed the charges in a superseding indictment in 2010. The evidence at trial established that the defendants solicited homeowners facing foreclosure, promising them that they would help the homeowners avoid foreclosure and repair their credit.

    Instead, through misrepresentations, fraud and forgery, the defendants led the victims to complete transactions that substituted straw buyers for the victim homeowners on the titles of properties without the homeowners’ knowledge. These straw buyers were often friends and family members of the defendants. Once the straw buyers were on title to the homes, the defendants applied for mortgages to extract the maximum available equity from the homes. The defendants then shared the proceeds of the ill-gotten equity and the “rent” that the victim homeowners paid them. Ultimately, the victim homeowners were left with no home, no equity, and with damaged credit ratings.(2)
  • A second indictment, returned March 13, 2008, charges Charles Head and six other defendants, including three not charged in the first indictment, with operating an additional “equity-stripping” scheme that netted approximately $5.9 million in stolen equity from 68 homeowners nationwide. That indictment alleges that Charles Head revised the original scheme by recruiting strangers via the Internet to act as straw buyers. Under this new scheme, the indictment alleges, he received approximately 97 percent of the stolen equity. His “sales agents” and employees, and the other defendants, allegedly received the remaining 3 percent of equity. Trial in that case is scheduled for September 9, 2013.

    Charles Head and Domonic McCarns were indicted in both indictments and are set for trial on the charges in the second indictment on September 9, 2013. Also charged in the second indictment and set for trial are: Keith Brotemarkle, 45, of Johnstown, Penn.; Benjamin Budoff, 44, of Colorado Springs; and Lisa Vang, 27, of Westminster. John Corcoran and Kou Yang were charged in both cases but have pleaded guilty.
For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Jury Returns Guilty Verdict For Nationwide Foreclosure Rescue Scam.

For the original indictments, see:
Go here for earlier posts on the Charles Head nationwide sale leaseback equity stripping ripoffs.

(1) According to the press release:
  • Ten other defendants have pleaded guilty in this case, charges were dismissed against one, and three remaining defendants are set for trial on November 4, 2013.

    The following have pleaded guilty and are scheduled for hearings regarding their sentencing dates on July 24, 2013:

    Elham Assadi , aka Elham Assadi Jouzani, aka Ely Assadi, 33, of Irvine;
    Akemi Bottari, 31, of Los Angeles;
    Sarah Mattson, 30, of Phoenix;
    Omar Sandoval, 35, of Rancho Cucamonga;
    Xochitl Sandoval, 32, of Rancho Cucamonga;
    Andrew Vu, 42, of Santa Ana;
    Justin Wiley, 31, of Irvine;
    Kou Yang, 35, of Corona;
    John Corcoran, aka Jack Corcoran, 55, of Anaheim.

    Leonard Bernot, 54, of Laguna Hills, pleaded guilty and is scheduled to be sentenced on July 10, 2013.

    A jury trial is scheduled for the remaining defendants on November 4, 2013. Those defendants are Domonic McCarns, 36, of Brea; Joshua Coffman, 32, of North Hollywood; and Anh Nguyen, 39, of Los Angeles.
(2) For more on this type of foreclosure rescue ripoff, see:

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