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Real Estate Fraud

BUSINESS
October 29, 1998 | MYRON LEVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
In a move aimed at curbing abuses by dishonest home loan firms, two state agencies have launched an effort to keep mortgage brokers who are stripped of licenses by one department from obtaining a license from the other.
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NEWS
October 27, 1998 | JEFF LEEDS, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Los Angeles developer Marshall Redman was sentenced to jail Monday for leading a massive land swindle that defrauded as many as 2,500 buyers and escaped the reach of local and state authorities for years. Many of his victims ended up living in makeshift homes on undeveloped land in the High Desert, with no running water or electricity. Redman sold the property to his mostly Spanish-speaking clients on false promises that utilities and other improvements were coming.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 16, 1998
The last two defendants in what prosecutors described as the largest real estate fraud ever perpetrated against the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development have pleaded guilty to mail fraud charges in Los Angeles federal court. Shirley Pereira Da Silva, 36, of Los Angeles and Luis Alberto Valladares, 44, of Hacienda Heights entered their pleas before U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts on Thursday. They face a maximum of three years in prison.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 16, 1998 | MELISSA HEALY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The Department of Housing and Urban Development announced Wednesday that it has expanded a civil fraud case against Los Angeles businessman Bruce Rozet, alleging that the Brentwood real estate developer organized a network of kickback schemes at 90 low-income housing projects in 25 states across the country. Calling the case the largest ever brought by the department, HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo charged that between 1990 and 1997, the housing projects generated $7.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 2, 1998 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ten years after Marshall Redman allegedly began to swindle mostly Spanish-speaking investors in land deals in the high desert, and two years after he was first charged with fraud, the 69-year-old developer has finally been ordered to trial. Redman was held to answer 29 charges of grand theft, fraud and forgery at a preliminary hearing in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 23, 1997 | EVELYN LARRUBIA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Children squealed as they tried to crack open candy-filled Santa and star pinatas behind Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Catholic Church. Santa handed out dozens of bags filled with wrapped presents. Social workers gave away blankets, coats and warm clothing. This was Christmas for the 60 families of Hi Vista, who for years have lived without running water, electricity or telephones in the isolated High Desert, victims of what authorities call a massive land fraud targeting low-income Latinos.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 22, 1997 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Authorities in California and Hawaii say they are investigating the role of a Palmdale woman for possible fraud in sales of raw desert land to 253 low-income investors, some of whom lost their life savings. The investigation centers on Carolina Acio Paredes, who was barred last year from selling real estate in Hawaii and whom California regulators accused earlier this month of continuing to engage in illegal high desert land sales, according to court records.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 16, 1997 | SHARON BERNSTEIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A year after millionaire developer Marshall Redman was indicted on charges of fraud and grand theft in Antelope Valley land deals involving 2,500 families, the 68-year-old developer remains out of jail on bail, selling windows on the Westside. As Redman awaits trial, though, reforms inspired by his case are beginning to occur, led by a new real estate fraud hotline. The hotline, which started nearly two months ago, offers recorded information 24 hours a day about a variety of real estate fraud.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 30, 1996 | JOHN M. GLIONNA, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Winter winds rattle the windows of the unheated Our Lady of Guadalupe church in the remote Los Angeles County community of Hi Vista, but the 75 parishioners shivering under thick overcoats at Sunday services still have reason to give thanks. For the first time in years, members of this Spanish-speaking community of hardy working-class settlers harbor real hope that the homesteads they thought they had purchased from millionaire developer Marshall Redman will one day be theirs after all.
BUSINESS
December 21, 1996 | MYRON LEVIN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Kevin S. Merritt, a defendant in a high-profile Los Angeles real estate fraud case, has dropped from sight, and authorities have issued a warrant for his arrest on $1-million bail after he failed to show up at a pretrial hearing. Separately, a task force of U.S. and local arson investigators is seeking to question Merritt about a string of arson fires in rundown buildings owned by a business firm that Merritt worked for, law enforcement officials have told The Times.
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