PAIR ARRESTED FOR FORECLOSURE FRAUD
On Sept. 12, Tamara Teresa Tikal and Ray Jan Kornfeld were arrested for a continuing multistate scam that has defrauded distressed homeowners throughout California and elsewhere.
This came one day after a federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment against Alan David Tikal, adding charges against him as well as charging his wife Tamara Tikal along with Kornfeld. The pair allegedly continued the scam while Alan Tikal was in custody awaiting trial.
According to court documents, beginning in January 2010, Alan Tikal operated a large-scale mortgage rescue scam by offering to eliminate homeowners’ mortgages and replace it with a new debt to his company KATN Trust. He claimed the new loan would only be for 25% of the original principal.
Victims paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees and then made regular payments to him on their new loans. Tikal and his underlings instructed the victims not to pay their original mortgage and to ignore all correspondence from the original lenders. This resulted in many of the victims losing their homes to foreclosure. Alan Tikal was arrested on Sept. 28, 2012, and indicted on charges of mail fraud.
Following his arrest, federal law enforcement continued to investigate the case. In November 2012, law enforcement learned that the scheme was still going on and searched KATN’s Las Vegas office. They seized multiple computers and thousands of documents.
Later this year, law enforcement learned that despite these efforts, the scheme continued, with victim homeowners continuing to make payments to the defendants’ company. According to the superseding indictment, Tamara Tikal and Kornfeld have filled central roles in continuing to operate the scheme.
A significant element of the continuing scheme has been an ongoing bankruptcy matter in the District of Nevada, filed in Alan Tikal’s name. Tikal has listed the property of many of his client victims as his personal property, thus preventing the financial institutions holding interests in those properties from foreclosing on them.
In all, Tikal’s scheme has victimized more than a thousand homeowners, who have paid in excess of $3.4 million. Of the identified victim homeowners, approximately 95 percent reside in California and at least 185 resided within the Eastern District of California.
The scam allegedly exploited bankruptcy law as a way to illegally halt foreclosure proceedings by mortgage lenders, including TARP recipients. Many of the duped homeowners did not speak English as their first language.
“As the foreclosure crisis continues, we are seeing a rise in scams that target struggling homeowners,” said California Attorney General Kamala Harris. “These predators rob innocent families of their life savings and their piece of the American dream. I am thankful for the fine work of the California Mortgage Fraud Strike Force and of our U.S. Department of Justice colleagues in cracking this case.”
This case is a joint prosecution by the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of California and the California Attorney General’s Office. It is the product of an extensive investigation by the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, the California Department of Justice, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Philip Ferrari and California Deputy Attorney General Maggy Krell are prosecuting the case.
If convicted, each of the defendants faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison. (usattyed91213)
As alleged, that is what I would call an “ongoing criminal enterprise.” They are looking at a lot of prison time if convicted. The question is, if it was operating out of Nevada in part, how come no Nevada citizens were hit?
CALIFORNIA AND SHASTA COUNTY SEE INCREASE IN FORECLOSURES
In August 2013 Shasta County posted its highest total of foreclosures since April. These numbers are double from April 2013.
Foreclosure activity in California also went up in August from 13,249 filings in July to 15,136 filings. (reccordsrchlite91213)
If a property is in foreclosure and especially at the beginning of foreclosure we may be able to assist that person.
LOS ANGELES MAN PLED GUILTY IN DENVER, ALONG WITH SIX OTHERS, TO MORTGAGE FRAUD THAT INVOLVED COLORADO PROPERTY
In September 2013, Dale Johnson pled guilty in a Colorado federal court to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Johnson and six other co-defendants, as mentioned below, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Denver.
The scheme began in March 2006. Johnson was a member of a business group out of Culver City, Calif., called Synergy. In early 2006, Synergy was Johnson as president and CEO; Donald Beverly, vice president of new business development; Ronald Benjamin, regional manager and senior vice president of sales and marketing; Jimmy Hutchinson, chief financial officer; and Vincent Jackson, VP of marketing.
In 2006, Johnson began to present Synergy members with a number of properties available for purchase in Colorado. He began to develop business relationships with various real estate professionals in Colorado, to include real estate broker Jerry Minney and mortgage broker Scott Goldberg.
Minney and Goldberg assisted Synergy members in the purchase of various homes in Colorado. Johnson and other Synergy members began traveling to Colorado, where they started purchasing multiple residential properties. The homes were typically purchased in the individual member’s own name, using the member’s personal credit history to qualify for the purchases. Johnson and others typically identified the property and helped arrange for the purchase by a Synergy member.
As part of the scheme, Synergy members with the assistance of Goldberg and other persons, submitted loan applications. In a number of these applications, Synergy members and other buyers provided, or assisted in providing, materially false statements, representations, and omissions to real estate lenders, or the lenders’ agents. False information included income, assets, debts, employment history, and/or intent to occupy the home as a primary residence.