Ismael Cancinos and Mercedes Alvarez have been arrested and charged with 86 felony counts of real estate fraud.
Their arrest warrants were issued based upon an investigation into their alleged defrauding of 30 homeowners in Santa Barbara County, California, who were facing the foreclosure of their homes. Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Deputies apprehended Cancinos on Monday, January 27, 2014, at a motel in Cudahy, near Bell Gardens in the Los Angeles County area, and Alvarez surrendered herself to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office on February 19, 2014.
The 86-count felony complaint alleges that the defendants conspired to commit the crimes of First Degree Residential Burglary, Grand Theft by False Pretense, Fraudulent Practices of a Foreclosure Consultant, Elder Abuse, and Dissuading a Witness from Reporting a Crime.
Cancinos and Alvarez are both held without bail at the Santa Barbara County Jail. Cancinos is scheduled to appear for further arraignrnent on February 28, 2014, in Department 9 of the Santa Maria Superior Court. Alvarez was arraigned on February 20, 2014.
Santa Barbara County District Attorney Joyce E. Dudley announced the complaint.
The Santa Barbara County District Attorney Investigators conducted the investigation into the defendants’ conduct.
In commenting upon the arrest, District Attorney Dudley stated, “These significant arrests would not have been possible but for our DA’s Real Estate Investigator Team led by Jen Glimp, Chief Trial Deputy Kelly Scott, and the cooperation of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department. In addition to multiple burglary, theft, and fraud charges, Cacinos and Alvarez have been charged with an aggravated white collar crime enhancement based on taking more than $100,000 from their victims.”