Thursday, July 23, 2015

S. California Man Coughs Up $30K In Restitution While Copping Guilty Plea To Felonies For Running Phony Short Sale Racket, Bilking Distressed Homeowners Out Of Thousand$ In Illegal Upfront Fees

From the Office of the Ventura County, California District Attorney:
  • District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced [] that Orange County resident Sergio Sanchez Santibanez (DOB 9/17/81) has pleaded guilty to felony grand theft and felony foreclosure consultant fraud. The Charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney' Real Estate Fraud Unit.

    The charges arose from a fraudulent short sale and foreclosure rescue program called Foreclosure Legal Services (FLS) based in the city of Orange. Santibanez lured struggling homeowners with false promises to save their homes from foreclosure. FLS promised to purchase distressed properties for less than what was owed (a short sale) and to later sell the properties back to the victims at a reduced price. Once lured in, victims were charged thousands of dollars in illegal up-front fees but received no actual services.

    The District Attorney's Fraud Unit secured $30,000 in victim restitution from Santibanez at the time of his plea. At the time of sentencing, he will be ordered to pay any outstanding restitution.

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