Monday, June 21, 2010

Jury Sends 62-Year Old Scammer Into Probable Retirement w/ Guilty Verdict In "Land Patent" F'closure Rescue Scam; Homeowners Losses Estimated At $260K

In San Diego, California, KGTV-TV Channel 10 reports:
  • A man who told homeowners that buying "land patents" from him would protect their properties from foreclosure was convicted Thursday of 21 felony counts, including grand theft and unlawful practices by a foreclosure consultant. Larry Smith -- who has prior convictions for second-degree murder, robbery and burglary -- faces a "very lengthy" prison term when he is sentenced Aug. 13, said Deputy District Attorney Marlene Coyne. [...] An expert estimated homeowners' losses at $260,000, Coyne said.

  • In her closing argument, Coyne told jurors that Smith[, 62] and others had homeowners hand over thousands of dollars under a false promise that their homes would be protected from foreclosure. "You buy a land patent from us, and your foreclosure is going to be stopped in its tracks" was Smith's sales pitch, the prosecutor told the jury. Smith and real estate agents who took part in the scam -- and previously pleaded guilty to various charges "were just bleeding money in this case," Coyne said.

  • Sixteen defendants -- including Smith -- have been found guilty or convicted and two remain set for trial, Coyne said.

For the story, see Man Found Guilty Of Selling 'Land Patents' (Larry Smith Told Homeowners Buying 'Land Patents' From Him Would Prevent Foreclosure).