Man Charged with Forging Deeds

admin —  February 11, 2010 — 6 Comments

Winston Lum, 45, San Francisco, California, was charged with 16 felony counts related to his alleged fraudulent transfer of a woman’s three condominiums in a San Francisco, California to himself.

Lum is charged with 2 counts of grand theft (Penal Code section 487(a)), one count of identity theft (Penal Code section 530.5(a)), six counts of procuring or offering false or forged instruments for record (Penal Code section 115(a), 6 counts of filing of false or forged documents related to single-family residences (Penal Code section 115.5(a)) and one count of attempted grand theft (Penal Code section 664/487(a)), all felonies.

According to court documents, in January 2009, the defendant had recorded with the San Francisco Assessor’s Office three forged grant deeds to real property located at the One Rincon Hill, San Francisco, California worth approximately $7.5 million that fraudulently transferred titles to himself. The defendant was then able to successfully take out $2.2 million in loans against those properties.

The true owner of the properties did not know the defendant and was not aware that her properties had been transferred, but became suspicious when she began receiving mail for the defendant at her address. The victim soon discovered that her properties had been fraudulently conveyed to the defendant and she reported the theft to the San Francisco Police Department.

Inspector Greg Ovanessian of the San Francisco Police Department Economic Crimes Bureau received the case for investigation in March 2009. Due to the complexity of the case, Inspector Robert Steger was assigned to assist Inspector Ovanessian. Their investigation confirmed that the properties were illegally transferred to the defendant and that soon thereafter, the defendant took out sizable loans against each of the properties.

A $7.5 million DA warrant was issued for the defendant on February 3, 2010. The defendant was arrested on the warrant February 4, 2010, at his mother’s home.

Lum was scheduled to be arraigned in Department 11 of the San Francisco Superior Court. The arraignment was continued to February 9, 2010, in Department 11 at the request of the defendant. Bail remains at $7.5 million. 

The defendant’s scheme to forge documents and claim legal ownership of the victim’s properties is an act of hubris difficult to fathom,” said District Attorney Kamala D. Harris. “The San Francisco Police Department’s Economic Crimes Bureau should be commended for its fine work in building this case and putting an end to this fraud.” 

Lieutenant Jones Wong, Officer-In-Charge of the SFPD Economic Crime Unit stated that “the arrest of Winston Lum is the result of a detailed and exhaustive investigation by Inspectors Greg Ovanessian and Robert Steger of an elaborate and complex scheme to defraud a San Francisco citizen of her property.”

Assistant District Attorney Alan Kennedy is prosecuting the case.


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6 responses to Man Charged with Forging Deeds

  1. County recorders are the HUB of “Real Estate Laundering” crimes as I have documented recently in introduction to my Appellate Opening Brief in Orange County, Ca.
    Please pass on this link for public awareness.

  2. This can happen very easily in Florida. The county recorder enables these actions by scammers. I had a mortgage mod going and this was the result. This is another way of them getting vital info to start with. Then you are left to fend for yourself w/ countless hours and $ to correct the fraud, ie, They can record copies not originals, cut and paste your signature from the loan mod application, and put it on a deed. Even the county requires ORIGINALS as stated in any counties regulation. They are only looking for their fee.

  3. In which state is your mother’s house, and what was the wording on the grant deed of the house? and when did your father pass?

  4. My family, too, is fighting a case against a common criminal who recorded false title to my mother’s home, using a forged ID. This three time federal bank fraud convict was placed by the SF Federal court in my Mother’s home as a tenant out on parole. He pilfered her deceased husband’s SS# by going through her purse and copying her medicare card # (warning to the wise) to create the ID, committed bank fraud – leaving my mom on the loan that is in foreclosure with Washington Mutual, and now is suing everyone in sight with frivolous lawsuits and more fraudulent recordings – and law enforce dithers away the time!! Kareem, your post is NOT making me feel better about our chances! Help!

  5. See the recorded document image on, which is best proof of similar forgeries by identified individuals in the employ of: “Baldwin Mortgage, of San Mateo, Ca.”, “Southwood Pest Control”, “first team real estate, orange county Inc.”, “Coast Cities Escrow”, “Commonwealth Land Title Insurance”, “World Savings Bank, FSB.”, “Golden West Savings Association Services, Inc.”, “Wachovia…” and their lawyers, in collaboration with the corrupt Orange County Officials at the County Recorder and Assessor’s offices.
    The corrupted office of the convicted criminal O.C. Sheriff Michael Carona repeatedly refused to take any action against these deed and loan forgeries, so did the local FBI, both of which are accessories to such organized crimes by turning their backs to the crimes, and thus supporting such organized crimes.
    In Orange County, and San Bernardino Counties, California, county recorders, and assessors, have contracts with organized crimes like title companies, and banks, as in here, to record any documents emailed to the county recorders from such enterprises, without the county officials even looking at the documents, let alone checking them for faults, as it occurred here. County officials have further continued to avoid responsibility when I provided them total proof of the forgeries, as in here.
    All foreclosures, especially in these two counties, are fraudulent and in violation of countless laws, but because the “law-enforcement” is itself a part of the crime, victims are further victimized by the very people they pay for their protection from criminals like the American Credit Crime Industry (ACCI), as documented in my Orange County case # 04CC11080, where I obtained a large judgment against multiple defendants, and in my current federal case # SACV 08-01274 DOC(MLGx).
    Such Organized crimes could probably come to a halt by dismantling county recorders altogether, as I have proven them to be the crux, the core, and the main vehicle, of real estate and lending crimes in the United States. These crimes have, in the past decade, proliferated globally causing today’s national and global financial collapses, by having counterfeited over $700 trillion worth of counterfeit dollars, under many colorful disguises, only with the backing of less than $7 trillion worth of American real estate. This amounts to a U.S. based counterfeiting PONZI scheme with the PONZI Ratio ((PONZI Index (PI)) of one hundred to one, which is beyond anyone’s wildest imaginations.
    It is no wonder that “U.S. law-makers” have been corrupted, or threatened with national martial law, to pass the fraudulent bailout packages, which I saw coming, and documented, years in advance, in my 2004 lawsuit. (see pdf link attachment to (temporary web-page).

  6. this is currently happening to my family and I. we filed with the D.A. back in January 2009 and are still waiting for the San Bernardino County D.A. to review the case and hopefully sign some arrest warrants.We found out that our property had been sold through a forged grant deed. we paid our property taxes in December of 2008 and our check was returned back to us with this terrible information.We are approaching 10,000 dollars in legal fees to fight this with no hope in sight. fidelity national title is calling all the shots and putting our lives on hold while we sink into debt and the bad guys are still on the loose. pretty sad when we did nothing wrong and we are at the mercy of a title company who could care less about our hopes and dreams. 15 months without justice being served. pretty sad. we will continue to pray.

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