January 30, 2010 |
A former Beverly Hills real estate appraiser was sentenced to three years in federal prison Friday for her role in a multimillion-dollar real estate fraud ring. A Los Angeles federal judge also ordered Lila Rizk to pay part of $46 million in restitution to RBC Mortgage, a subsidiary of the Royal Bank of Canada; Bank of America Corp.; and other lenders that together lost about $50 million on loans totaling $142 million in the scheme, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Jeremy Matz. Rizk, 42, of Trabuco Canyon in Orange County, along with 10 other developers, agents and appraisers, bought homes in wealthy areas such as Beverly Hills and La Jolla, then inflated the homes' value to get loans, Matz said.
August 11, 2009 |
A Beverly Hills real estate agent to the stars and an appraiser were convicted Monday on federal charges of conspiracy and bank fraud for their roles in a multimillion-dollar Westside real estate fraud ring, but jurors couldn't reach a verdict on another prominent agent accused of being part of the scheme. Real estate agent Kyle Grasso, 38, and licensed appraiser Lila Rizk, 42, were found guilty of multiple counts of conspiracy, bank fraud and loan fraud for their participation in a scheme in which banks lost more than $40 million on loans totaling $142 million.
April 8, 2009 |
Two dozen people have been charged with racketeering in connection with an allegedly fraudulent mortgage scheme run by a street gang member, according to an indictment unsealed Tuesday in federal court in San Diego. The group allegedly profited from loans arranged for amounts in excess of the price of the homes, among other tactics. The homes went into foreclosure soon after they were sold, according to the indictment.
February 5, 2009 |
Small investors accused a prominent California real estate brokerage and a former Orange County businessman in a lawsuit Wednesday of taking part in an elaborate scam that fleeced individual investors out of millions of dollars in recent years. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in San Jose, alleges that brokers at Marcus & Millichap allegedly took part in a conspiracy to buy small commercial properties, artificially inflate their values and sell them to unsuspecting investors.
August 13, 2008 |
An investment promoter who promised Spanish speakers a bonanza in distressed real estate but allegedly cost them millions of dollars has been arrested on a federal charge of bribing a bank executive. Juan Rangel of Downey, 44, owner of Commerce-based Financial Plus Investments, was in custody pending a bail hearing Friday in Los Angeles. In a court affidavit, FBI Special Agent Stephanie A. Talamantez said dozens of investors mobbed the offices of Financial Plus Investments and two related companies, RQ Investments and RQ Properties, after Rangel closed the firms July 25. Then the investors headed for the FBI's office in West Covina.
May 9, 2008 |
Alarmed that real estate fraud is contributing to California's mortgage foreclosure crisis, the state Senate voted Thursday to allow counties to increase fees for filing property purchase documents to beef up fraud investigation units. The bill was supported by Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca and Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, who are seeing an explosion in the number of fraud cases tied to foreclosures.