(original post - 3-24-08)
In Sacramento, California, media reports from KNXV-TV Channel 15
(Phoenix) and KCRA-TV Channel 3
(Sacramento), as well as an announcement by United States Attorney McGregor Scott
(Eastern District, CA) report that foreclosure rescue operator Charles Head and his brother, Jeremy Michael Head, the alleged ringleaders of what prosecutors describe as a nationwide straw buyer, equity stripping, foreclosure scam operation involving over 100 homes, have been indicted along with 17 others. The alleged scam involved targeting financially strapped homeowners and screwing them out of their home equity by offering bogus sale leaseback arrangements involving their homes that was purportedly design to save the homes from foreclosure.
According to Assistant United States Attorneys Laura Ferris, Rob Tice-Raskin, and Ellen Endrizzi, who are prosecuting the case, the charges are broken out into two separate indictments, "Head One
" (2-28-08) and "Head Two
Reportedly, investigators have said that more indictments could soon be on the way, increasing the number of homes to more than 300 nationwide. The case, known as Operation Homewrecker
, included an investigation by the FBI and IRS.
The following defendants were charged in the Feb. 28 "Head One
- Charles Head, 33, of Los Angeles
- Jeremy Michael Head, 30, of Huntington Beach
- Elham Assadi, aka Elham Assadi Jouzani, aka Ely Assadi, 30, of Irvine
- Leonard Bernot, 51, of Laguna Hills
- Akemi Bottari, 28, of Los Angeles
- Joshua Coffman, 29, of North Hollywood
- John Corcoran, aka Jack Corcoran, 52, of Anaheim
- Sarah Mattson, 27, of Phoenix, Ariz
- Domonic McCarns, 33, of Brea
- Anh Nguyen, 36, of Los Angeles
- Omar Sandoval, 32, of Rancho Cucamonga
- Xochitl Sandoval, 29, of Rancho Cucamonga
- Eduardo Vanegas, 28, of Phoenix
- Andrew Vu, 39, of Santa Ana
- Justin Wiley, 28, of Irvine
- Kou Yang, 32, of Corona.
In the March 13 "Head Two" indictment, in addition to Charles Head, John Corcoran, Kou Yang and Dominic McCarns, who were all charged in "Head One" -- the following additional defendants were charged:
- Keith Brotemarkle, 42, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania
- Benjamin Budoff, 41, of Colorado Springs, Colorado
- Lisa Vang, 24, of Westminster.
Friends and family members were recruited as straw buyers in "Head One," -- in "Head Two" the defendants recruited strangers via the Internet to act as the straw buyers.
For more, including the Arizona connection in this story, see KNXV-TV Channel 15: Mesa elementary school teacher indicted for federal fraud.
Go here for a U.S. map giving the location of the homeowners who were screwed over.
For the KCRA-TV Channel 3 story, see 19 Accused Of Mortgage Scheme (Struggling Homeowners Victimized, Officials Say).
For the U.S. Attorney's press release, see Indictments Announced In Major Mortgage Fraud Scheme.
For the criminal indictments, see:
Go here for earlier posts as well as available updates on the Head nationwide foreclosure rescue operation.
Thanks to Josh Bernstein and Tim McDaniel for the "Heads-Up" (so to speak) on this story.
For more on equity stripping scams, generally, see DREAMS FORECLOSED: The Rampant Theft of Americans' Homes Through Equity-stripping Foreclosure 'Rescue' Scams (4.61 MB approx.).
For other criminal prosecutions involving foreclosure rescue and other deed scams, see: