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Real Estate Agent Sentenced for Forgery

February 26, 1987

A 57-year-old man who obtained $180,000 in loans by forging real estate documents was sentenced in Van Nuys Superior Court to 5 years, 8 months in state prison.

Basil Herman, who was living in a Universal City motel when arrested in August, used a number of aliases to obtain phony driver's licenses, according to Deputy Dist. Atty. Larry Diamond.

Herman would find a home that was fully paid off and forge a quitclaim deed transferring the property from the real owner to himself, Diamond said. After submitting the phony deed to the county registrar-recorder's office, Herman would obtain a loan on the property, Diamond said.

Herman, who worked as a real estate agent, obtained two such loans totaling $180,000 on properties in Sherman Oaks and Los Feliz and was caught while attempting to secure a loan for $110,000 on a Reseda house he did not own, Diamond said.

In the last case, a mortgage officer grew suspicious when she drove past the house and noticed that it was for sale, Diamond said. After further investigation of property records, the loan officer notified police.

Herman pleaded guilty in January to two counts of grand theft and one count of forgery in connection with the three transactions. Four other felonies involving the same deals were dismissed by prosecutors in a plea agreement.

Herman faced a maximum of six years in prison under the plea bargain. He was sentenced Monday.

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