Last December, Michael D. “Mickey” Henschel, 55, was sentenced to five years’ probation and 240 hours of community service and ordered to pay restitution of nearly $22,000 by a U.S. District Court in Phoenix, Nevada after pleading guilty to wire fraud charges stemming from his involvement in an equity-skimming ring that cheated mortgage lenders and people who were in default on their monthly payments. Henschel was not fined, based on financial statements showing he had meager assets.
The L.A. County Sheriff’s Department real estate fraud unit is now investigating complaints of similar activities by Henschel and an associate, Alan Mitchell of Canoga Park. Last month, 187 boxes of papers, seven filing cabinets and computers records were seized from Henschelâ€™s Van Nuys offices by California fraud investigators pursuant to search warrants.
Receipts from a credit card issued to Henschel’s deceased mother were found among the seized documents and turned over to federal authorities. Charges on the cards post date her death and were not reported to authorities. Federal authorities have filed a petition in the Phoenix U.S. District Court seeking revocation of Henschelâ€™s probation.