Ringleader of Nationwide Foreclosure Rescue Scam Gets 35 Year Prison Sentence

Allison Tussey —  September 4, 2014 — 4 Comments

Charles Head, 40, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, (formerly of Los Angeles and Orange County, California), was sentenced by United States District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller to 35 years in prison for his role in a scheme whereby victims were fraudulently led to complete transactions that substituted straw buyers for the victim homeowners on the titles of properties without the homeowners’ knowledge. .

A hearing to determine the amount of restitution has been set for November 22, 2014.

In sentencing, Judge Mueller noted that Charles Head had “created and implemented a very cynical scheme” and that Head’s life has “shown an inability to respect the law.”

In 2013, Head was convicted in two jury trials of two conspiracies to commit mail fraud in connection with nationwide foreclosure rescue scams. He was also convicted of seven counts of mail fraud. According to evidence presented at trial and at his sentencing hearing, Head was the CEO of a group of brokerage and financial companies in Orange County and Los Angeles County: Head Financial Services, Creative Loans, and others.

In 2008, a federal grand jury indicted Head and 16 other defendants in two cases, charging them with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, mail fraud, and other charges related to the Head Financial Services equity skimming schemes. The evidence at trial established that the defendants solicited homeowners facing foreclosure, promising to help the homeowners avoid foreclosure and repair their credit. Instead, through misrepresentations, fraud, and forgery, the defendants led the victims to complete transactions that substituted straw buyers for the victim homeowners on the titles of properties without the homeowners’ knowledge.

These straw buyers were often friends and family members of the defendants, or were solicited on the Internet. Once the straw buyers were on title to the homes, the defendants applied for mortgages to extract the maximum available equity from the homes. The defendants then shared the proceeds of the ill-gotten equity and the “rent” that the victim homeowners paid them. Ultimately, the victim homeowners were left with no home, no equity, and with damaged credit ratings.

Initially, Head focused his scam on distressed homeowners in California before expanding throughout the United States. In the course of the schemes, between January 2004 and June 2006, the defendants obtained over $90 million in fraudulent loans, caused estimated losses of over $50 million, and stole title to over 300 homes.

Head and his brother Jeremy Michael Head, 34, of Huntington Beach, were convicted in May 2013 following a nearly four-week trial. A second trial was held in December 2013 that lasted five weeks. Head and two other defendants were convicted.

Sixteen other defendants have also been convicted in the two related cases and are awaiting sentencing:

Elham Assadi, aka Elham Assadi Jouzani, aka Ely Assadi, 34, Irvine, California;

Leonard Bernot, 54, Laguna Hills, California;

Akemi Bottari, 32, Los Angeles, California;

Keith Brotemarkle, 46, Johnstown, Pennsylvania;

Benjamin Budoff, 47, Colorado Springs, Colorado;

Joshua Coffman, 34, North Hollywood, California;

John Corcoran, aka Jack Corcoran, 56, Anaheim, California;

Jeremy Michael Head, 34, Huntington Beach, California;

Sarah Mattson, 31, Phoenix, Arizona;

Domonic McCarns, 40, Irvine, California;

Omar Sandoval, 36, Rancho Cucamonga, California;

Xochitl Sandoval, 33, Rancho Cucamonga, California;

Lisa Vang, 28, Westminster, California;

Andrew Vu, 43,Santa Ana, California;

Justin Wiley, 32, Irvine, California, and

Kou Yang, 36, Corona, California.

In addition, defendant Ahn Nguyen is pending trial and defendant Domonic McCarns is awaiting a second trial on additional charges related to these offenses.

United States Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced the sentence.

U.S. Attorney Wagner said: “This defendant purposely targeted the financially vulnerable during their time of greatest distress with promises of help. Then he tricked them into handing over their most valuable asset, their home. When victims in one scheme grew scarce, he opened up a new scheme drawing in victims from across the country. Few economic crimes are more reprehensible. No sentence will undo the damage wrought by Charles Head and his fellow scammers, but today’s sentence brings a measure of justice for their victims.”

“In large fraud schemes like the one devised by Charles Head, we can’t forget about the individual homeowners who comprised the more than $50 million in losses,” said Monica Miller, Special Agent in Charge of the Sacramento division of the FBI. “Today’s sentencing ends an investigation that has been ongoing for more than 10 years and brings some closure to the innocent people who were victimized by Head’s callous scheme.”

“The defendant preyed on struggling and trusting homeowners, literally stealing the American Dream out from under them, with no remorse,” said José M. Martínez, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation. “Today’s sentencing signifies the continued effort by the IRS, FBI and U.S. Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute those who commit mortgage fraud. IRS-CI is committed to pursuing those who line their pockets with profits from these schemes.”

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service‑Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael D. Anderson and Matthew Morris are prosecuting the case.

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4 responses to Ringleader of Nationwide Foreclosure Rescue Scam Gets 35 Year Prison Sentence

  1. THIS IS LINDA, I JUST FOUND OUT MORE SHOCKING NEWS ABOUT OUR HOME. I DON’T KNOW HOW THIS COULD BE TRUE BUT IT IS. I HAVE THE PROPERTY DOCUMENTS FROM A TITLE AGENCY HERE IN AZ. THE OFFICE MGR WAS TOO SHOCKED AND CONFUSED TO SEE THESE FACTS.THEY SHOWED UP AT OUR DOOR WITHOUT NOTICE OR REASON FOR FORECLOSURE IN FEB 2003 WHEN I REALIZED WHAT THEY WERE DOING OF COURSE I FILED A CASE IN THE SUPERIOR COURT TO STOP THIS AND CORRECT IT . I TRIED FOR A FEW WEEKS TO GET LEGAL HELP AND COULD NOT AFFORD IT MEANWHILE READING AND RESEARCH DAY AND NIGHT.ALL ABOUT OUR LAWS , GETTING READY FOR COURT. I FILED THE CASE 5/2003. I AM SHOCKED. THE PROPERTY RECORDS SHOW A SALE DATE OF 3/2003 WE WERE IN COURT THEY WERE SWORN THEIR ATTORNEY WHOM IS SWORN BY OUR GOVERNMENT LAWS STOOD BEFORE 3 DIFFERENT JUDGES, MONTHS IN THE COURT . FOR WHAT? HOW CAN THEY DO THAT AND GET AWAY WITH IT. THAT EXPLAINS WHY THE SALE DATE WAS NOT RE RECORDED. THIS IS SO DISRESPECTFUL TO THE COURT AND A CRIME THEY SHOULD NEVER GET AWAY WITH. I WANT TO SAY THANK YOU TO Kelcey Morange FOR DOING THE RIGHT THING. GOD BLESS PEOPLE SUCH AS YOURSELF. I PRAY EACH NIGHT FOR JUSTICE WITH WHAT HAPPENED TO MY CHILDREN AND I AND OTHERS AS WELL. I DON’T KNOW IF WE WILL HAVE IT. BUT I AM STILL SEEKING A CHANCE TO GET JUSTICE FOR MY CHILDREN AND FOR OTHERS OUT THERE. I FILE A PETITION FOR REHEARING MONDAY. SO, DON’T GIVE UP HOPE. WITH OUR JUSTICE SYSTEM. WE WOULD NOT SURVIVE WITHOUT IT. LINDA

  2. why can’t we get compisated for the loss of our home. I have been trying to get help. and now I’m told its. too late.that’s not justice . January 9, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    WAMU (mers)took our home in 2004. Years later. . And Our lives are still destroyed. We are still suffering there wrongful destruction. And I just found out by checking to see if they stopped them from there greed. That I was a robo signed foreclosure MERS The judge warned them they better be right in their accounting. And even after knowing there wrong. They pushed more. They took most of our money they made on taking our home. The only home I ever owned. I still have all the orig proof today that they had no legal right. I had ppi /pmi which I was still paying on at that time. This was sold a day after the judge told them ..if they do go forward with this action. They BETTER. BE RIGHT IN THEIR ACCOUNTING! . We all knew it was wrong to give up and i file within the allowed time. With the court of appeals. They accepted. But my house was already bought . I lost my job and my mother had. Two small children no childsupport and was destroyed by WAMU. This was and is so sad. They destroyed our lives. They have sent me docs with different loan # off by one number. Within the same year same Co WAMU. This should have never happened. It really truely destroyed our lives. Robo signature Amy connolly 93000.00 was owed and they got 116000.00 and sent us only. 11000.00. We desurve justice too my children desurve something you can’t buy. The years we suffered from the loss and hardship they put us thorough . PLEASE. I can’t rest until we get closure. If you try.to find my case you might have to look it up under linda barbano civil case history. CV2004-008567 or CV CA 0708. I tried to fight for it. I dropped it when. I lost my mother unexpectedly during that time. I was so overwhelmed and had no help. Not even child support. I had filed a fed complaint to: the House of Representatives the Better Business Bureau OTS. consumer complaint and the FBI even tried to get local news involved that’s how certain it is what they did was wrong but my mother was my best friend and I was very very overwhelmed at the time somebody please help us two-a-days destroyed my childrens life and mine will never be the same. please I just want justice.I want my children to know mom didn’t fail them. I can prove WAMU took this from us. I want my children to know I did all I could all on my own.I need a real lawyer.please! I have sooo much proof. It is our home.

    Linda A.Barbano

  3. As a mortgage loan officer, I first encountered victims of Charles Head and “funding foreclosures” over 8 years ago. I have remained in contact with several of them ever since, pouring through mountains of documentation, working side by side with the FBI and private attorneys, and then lenders and banks, in an effort to mitigate some of the damage he has done. Only half of the victims I worked to assist were able to regain their homes. I pray that each and every one will now have some sense of closure and justice, and that restitution is available. This man and his team are the lowest of the low. Thank you to all who worked so diligently to bring this case to this outcome.

  4. I am one of Charles Head victim… it is horrible how he and the rest of his team took advantage of people who were in need. I am sure that many just like me have lost everything that they worked so hard. My husband and i have liquidated all of our savings including our kids college funds, during all this stress my husband has had 1 stroke and multiple heat attaches causing him to have an open heart surgery and for him to be placed on permanent disabilty (he is only 48 years old), now not only we have lost everything, but also we have one less income and 3 children to support. As a victims i am looking for justice and as i speak for all of the victims we should be compensated not only for what we have lost but also what it has cost us of legal fees…..
    yours truly, desperately and looking for justice

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