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IN BRIEF / Orange County

Man Arrested on Mortgage Fraud Charges

August 25, 2001|Marc Ballon

An Orange County man was arrested late Thursday on charges of defrauding lenders out of $1 million in a mortgage scheme involving upscale homes in the Nellie Gail Ranch section of Laguna Hills.

Randy Anthony Abalos, 43, was released on bail Friday. He will be arraigned Sept. 4 in U.S. District Court in Santa Ana on three counts of wire fraud and one count of mortgage fraud.

The federal indictment contends that Abalos obtained mortgage loans in his own name using false income information. When his own credit was ruined by foreclosures, he began using straw buyers and inflated purchase prices to obtain additional loans, the indictment charges.

FBI Agent Julie McWilliams said he bought properties in 1996 and 1997 in the name of his company, WLA Corp., but immediately sold them again to various straw buyers. She said he inflated prices on loan applications by up to $450,000 and received nearly $1 million in excess loan proceeds.

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