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27-Month Sentence in Real Estate Fraud

December 18, 2001|From Times staff reports

A Calabasas business consultant was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison Monday for defrauding two real estate clients out of more than $600,000.

Jay Sydney Hoffman, 49, president of now-defunct Hoffman Holmes Group Inc., pleaded guilty earlier this year to two counts of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Hoffman told one client that he could arrange for reduced payoffs on home mortgages because of his connections at the Resolution Trust Corp., the government agency created to take over failing savings and loan associations in the 1980s.

He conned the client into giving him a cashier's check for $169,000 to pay off a mortgage but then used the money for his own purposes, prosecutors said.

In the second fraud case, Hoffman was accused of pocketing $500,000 that a client had given him to place in escrow in the purchase of a $2.9-million office building in Van Nuys.

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