Monday, September 14, 2009

ARTICLE: L.A. mortgage brokers are accused of stealing nearly $1 million

Via the LA Times:

The California attorney general's office says that beginning in 2007, the three co-workers conspired to forge clients' signatures on phony refinance documents and pocket fees based on bigger loans.

By Nathan Olivarez-Giles, September 12, 2009

Three Southern California mortgage brokers have been arrested on suspicion of stealing nearly $1 million from borrowers seeking to adjust their home loans.

Michael McConville, 31, and co-workers Garrett Holdridge, 23, and Alan Ruiz, 28, are scheduled to be arraigned Monday in Los Angeles County Superior Court on charges of bilking more than 70 homeowners, said Scott Gerber, a spokesman for the California attorney general's office.


In May, the attorney general's office sued McConville and his brother Sean for alleged roles in a property tax reassessment scam that targeted Californians looking to lower their property taxes.

The McConville brothers sent out thousands of mailers, adorned with official-looking logos, demanding hundreds of dollars for property tax reassessment services, the suit said.

The mailers told homeowners that if payments were not received by a due date, they faced late fees or would have their tax files marked "ineligible for future tax reassessments," court documents said.

I know someone who unfortunately got caught up in this tax reassessment scam. Thankfully it was only $200--it could have been much worse. It should be noted that their realtor, a so-called "expert," said to pay it immediately.

Friends, stay diligent out there, and most importantly STAY SKEPTICAL. There is an endless supply of scammers and hucksters licking their chops at the prospect of getting into your wallet during these confusing, uncertain times.

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