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Real Estate Fraud

October 31, 2004 | Rich Connell and Robert J. Lopez, Times Staff Writers
James K. Hahn was having lunch in a Beverly Hills restaurant four years ago when a developer walked up and introduced himself. Mark Alan Abrams said he wanted to help Hahn, then Los Angeles city attorney, become the next mayor. Soon, the developer was among Hahn's biggest fundraisers. He helped funnel more than $300,000 to the mayor and his political campaigns through an array of associates and businesses.
July 16, 2004 | From Associated Press
An alleged real estate scam squandered nearly half of the $17.5 million raised from hundreds of investors who were promised quick and easy profits, according to a report filed with a federal judge in San Francisco. Chicago D&P Inc., a company run by a mother-and-son team in Emeryville, Calif., and Reno spent $8.1 million of investor funds on expenses that blurred the lines between business and personal interests, court-appointed receiver Stephen E. Anderson wrote in his report.
June 16, 2004 | From a Times Staff Writer
A man has been arrested on suspicion of bilking the 83-year-old owner of a small Santa Paula golf course out of $380,000 in a bogus real estate deal involving an area Christmas tree farm, authorities said Tuesday. Anthony Spencer, 43, also known as Anthony Navarro, was being held on a felony warrant accusing him of grand theft, forgery and money laundering, according to the Ventura County district attorney's office. Spencer, of Santa Paula, was arrested Friday at a Palm Springs motel.
May 9, 2004 | Jean O. Pasco, Times Staff Writer
A real estate agent who sits on the Huntington Beach City Council is among those under investigation by police probing the illegal conversion of apartments into expensive condos. Property records show that Councilwoman Pam Julien Houchen made $562,000 by buying an apartment building and then selling the four units as condos without obtaining city approval or paying a $7,000 conversion fee.
April 7, 2004 | Lance Pugmire, Times Staff Writer
A woman who fled to Mexico after being named a suspect in a Highland double homicide two years ago called the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department on Tuesday morning to turn herself in, and authorities took her into custody in Calexico later in the day. If convicted, Ernestina Bernal, 31, could receive the death penalty. A second suspect was to go on trial in May for the 2002 slayings of longtime real estate agents James and Sue Moller.
March 30, 2004 | David Haldane, Times Staff Writer
In what prosecutors describe as one of the largest cases of its kind in Orange County history, three people were arrested Monday on suspicion of defrauding financial institutions of more than $30 million since 1998 in a banking and real estate scheme. In early-morning raids at the suspects' homes, FBI agents arrested Alberto Mordoki, 44, and Mirella Mordoki, 35, a married couple from Fullerton, and Alejandro Sady-Kennedy, 44, of Ladera Ranch.
January 28, 2003 | From Times Staff Reports
A Palmdale couple were arrested Monday on suspicion of bilking banks out of at least $1 million in an alleged real estate fraud scheme. Willie Edwards, 54, and Pamela Edwards, 44, were booked on suspicion of identity theft, grand theft and fraud, authorities said. Investigators allege that the couple approached homeowners who faced foreclosure and offered, for a fee, to delay the bank takeover by finding someone who had filed for bankruptcy protection and adding his or her name to the deeds.
January 23, 2003 | From Times Wire Reports
A Laguna Niguel woman was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of assisting real estate professionals to fraudulently obtain more than $5 million in loans that were insured by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Kelli Davis Peterson, 42, who worked at R.E. Mortgage of Anaheim, was indicted Jan. 16 by a federal grand jury in Los Angeles. The indictment charges her with six counts of wire fraud.
Property owners who may have paid a Los Angeles County planner for bogus documents could face criminal charges for their parts in a land fraud case that has cost the county more than $2 million in unpaid fees, officials with the district attorney's office said Friday. The former planner, Emmet Taylor, was arrested Wednesday and charged with 97 counts of forgery and falsification of public records.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office arrested a former county planner Wednesday night who is charged with 97 counts of forgery and falsification of public records in an alleged massive land fraud case that has cost the county hundreds of thousands of dollars to correct. Emmet Taylor, 64, was arrested as he returned to his Fullerton home from knee surgery, according to Sandi Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
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