Rachel Dollar —  October 5, 2015 — 1 Comment

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A Georgia real estate investor pleaded guilty today for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Fulton and DeKalb counties, Georgia.

Morris Podber, a Georgia real estate investor, pleaded guilty for his role in conspiracies to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions in Fulton and DeKalb counties, Georgia. Podber admitted that he conspired with others not to bid against one another at public real estate foreclosure auctions on selected properties. After the public foreclosure auctions, Podber admitted that he and his co-conspirators would divvy up the targeted properties in private side auctions, open only to the conspirators. Podber admitted to conspiring to use the mail to carry out their fraud, which included making and receiving payoffs and diverting money to co-conspirators that should have gone to the mortgage holders and others. Continue Reading…

Glenn Jasen, Spring Hill, Florida and Kathryn Jasen, Spring Hill, Florida, were found guilty of wire fraud by a federal jury.  They each face a maximum penalty of 20 years in federal prison. The sentencing hearings are scheduled for January 11, 2016. They were indicted on July 15, 2015

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, in 2009, the Jasens discovered a sinkhole beneath their home in Hernando County, Florida, and made a claim to Citizens Property Insurance. Citizens offered the Jasens either a check to compensate for their losses or mitigation of the sinkhole. Rather than having Citizens repair the developing sinkhole, the Jasens instead chose to receive a check for $153,745.37. But they kept the money and did not repair the sinkhole. The Jasens then made cosmetic repairs to the house and listed it for sale in 2013, but kept the sinkhole a secret from prospective buyers. In fact, on a required Florida real estate disclosure form, the Jasens denied any knowledge of a prior sinkhole or sinkhole claim. The home was ultimately sold to a family with five children. In March 2015, the family heard what sounded like a car crash in the earth beneath their house. They soon discovered a crack running across the floor of the house, and immediately had to evacuate.

This case was investigated by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Tampa Bay Regional Operations Center. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.


The Cameron County, Texas District Attorney’s Office dismantled a county-wide real estate scheme that defrauded its victims out of more than $400,000 from 2013 through 2015.  Dubbed “Operation Surreal Estate”, the investigation began in July 2015 when victims contacted the District Attorney’s Office for help.

The several-month-long investigation uncovered a crime ring, led by Allan Ramirez Rodriguez, 27, Brownsville, Texas, who convinced real estate buyers to invest in and/or purchase properties. False deeds were provided to the investors for properties Rodriguez and his accomplices never owned. Organizers of the scheme even attended public real estate auctions to provide an appearance of legitimacy.  Rodriguez was charged with three counts of theft of property, three counts of engaging in organized criminal activity and securing execution of a document by deception.  Rodriguez has not been taken into custody.

In addition to Rodriguez, those involved in the organized criminal activity were: Continue Reading…

James Thomas, 44, of Villa Rica, Georgia, was arraigned on federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering arising from an alleged advance fee fraud scheme involving $1.7 million.  Thomas was indicted by a federal grand jury on September 15, 2015.  

According to the U.S. Attorney, the charges, and other information presented in court: Between 2008 and 2011, Thomas portrayed his firm, Trilateral Capital and Development LLC (“Trilateral”), as a reputable and well established private equity company that had successfully loaned millions of dollars for real estate development projects. Trilateral’s website and marketing materials contained fraudulent misrepresentations about the firm’s past real estate deals.  Thomas also misrepresented Trilateral’s finances and on least one occasion e-mailed a fraudulent bank statement purporting to show that Trilateral had over $1.6 million in one account.    Continue Reading…

Fraudster’s $4.4M debt to victim banks wiped out, then reinstated

Convicted mortgage fraudster Angel Puentes thought he’d hit the motherlode when a judge cut more than half off the federal prison sentence he was serving and then unexpectedly ruled that Puentes no longer had to pay more than $4.4 million in restitution to his victims.

But Puentes is back on the hook for the money after an appeals court ruled this week that the judge didn’t have the authority to wipe out his debt to the victims.

Paul Sloane Davis, 76, Santa Rosa, California, was sentenced to 36 months in prison and ordered to pay $1.7 million in restitution, for a Ponzi scheme he perpetrated along with co-defendant Diane Cobb, 58, currently a resident of the State of Ohio.  The sentencing follows a guilty plea in which Davis admitted to running a fraudulent scheme.  Court documents establish that Davis and Cobb profited by more than a million dollars.

Davis was charged by indictment on October 31, 2013, for his part in the scheme.  According to the indictment, Davis and Cobb operated a financial services company in Marin County known as DM Financial.  Through DM Financial, Davis and Cobb offered investors the opportunity to fund purported short-term “bridge loans” to borrowers who, according to Davis and Cobb, needed short-term financing for residential real estate transactions.  The defendants fraudulently provided to these investors, among other things, the identity of the purported borrower, a promissory note reflecting the amount and terms of the loan, and a deed of trust securing the loan to the borrower’s real property.  Based upon these documents and other representations made by Davis and Cobb, the investors believed the defendants were directing the funds into secured loans with borrowers. Continue Reading…

David Gotterup, also known as “David Gott,”, 35, Oceanside, New York, and Jason Green, 35, Oceanside, New York, were charged in an eleven-count indictmenet with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud homeowners who were attempting to modify their mortgage loans, and related mail fraud counts.  The indictment also charged Gotterup with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to improperly obtain mortgage loans, and related bank fraud counts, disaster loan fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Continue Reading…

Michael R. Anderson, 46, attorney, Framingham, Massachusetts, was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11,048,212 in restitution and forfeit $7,413,712 in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury, Massachusetts.  In January 2011, Anderson pleaded guilty to sixteen counts of wire fraud, nine counts of bank fraud, and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.   Continue Reading…

Costa Mesa woman who ran foreclosure fraud scheme sentenced to 6 years

A 31-year-old Costa Mesa woman was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in federal prison for operating a foreclosure rescue fraud scheme that targeted homeowners with bogus promises of mortgage relief.

Najia Jalan was ordered to pay restitution of about $236,000 and serve three years of supervised release following her 70-month prison term, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.