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Patrick Iturra sentenced 365 days in jail, ordered to pay $100,000 in victim restitution and placed on 60 months formal probation.

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that the Honorable Matthew Guasco sentenced Canyon Lake resident Patrick Iturra (DOB 7/27/70) to 365 days in jail for his role in a fraudulent foreclosure rescue business. Iturra was convicted of two felony counts of foreclosure consultant fraud, and three felony counts of grand theft. The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Iturra operated a fraudulent business under the name of Mercury Business Group. Iturra, together with co-defendants Roberto Sanchez (DOB 12/28/48) and Rosalva Sanchez (DOB 9/9/53), solicited struggling homeowners with promises of saving their distressed homes from foreclosure. The defendants received thousands of dollars from eight victims who received no actual services and were instead diverted from legitimate assistance. All but one of the victims lost their homes to foreclosure. Victims’ monetary losses totaled $100,000.

Iturra was placed on 60 months formal probation, ordered to pay $100,000 in victim restitution, and is prohibited from working in any business related to real estate or foreclosure rescue. Roberto and Rosalva Sanchez were sentenced for their role in the scheme last year.

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Jose Armando Rodriguez pleaded guilty to grand theft, foreclosure consultant fraud, and recording a false instrument

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Fontana resident Jose Armando Rodriguez (DOB 11/20/59) pleaded guilty to grand theft, foreclosure consultant fraud, and recording a false instrument.

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Rod Scott Hormell of Newbury Park was sentenced to serve five years in state prison

VENTURA, California-District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Rod Scott Hormell (DOB 10/12/56) of Newbury Park was sentenced to serve five years in state prison for his role in an investment scheme targeting elders.

This case was the result of a joint investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Business Oversight, and the California Department of Insurance.

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Ventura County resident Gregoria Mendoza pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony grand theft and felony foreclosure consultant fraud

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Ventura County resident Gregoria Mendoza (DOB 5/14/55) pleaded guilty to multiple counts of felony grand theft and felony foreclosure consultant fraud. The charges were the result of an investigation by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Mendoza created at least six separate real estate investment schemes to entice investors from Ventura, Los Angeles, and Tulare Counties. She made false representations that victims’ monies would be invested in various real estate endeavors. Mendoza deposited some of the victims’ proceeds into her own accounts and used those funds to pay for her personal expenses. Total victim losses were approximately $470,000. In addition, Mendoza charged one victim illegal up-front fees for a mortgage loan modification.

Mendoza’s sentencing hearing is set for August 10, 2016, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 13. She is expected to be sentenced to 7 years 4 months in state prison.

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Kern County resident Gina Marie Hernandez was sentenced to 2 years eight months in state prison for recording a false document

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Kern County resident Gina Marie Hernandez (DOB 9/24/77) was sentenced to two years eight months in state prison for recording a false document. Hernandez, along with Kern County residents Hayser Scarlett Lopez (DOB 10/17/68) and Peggy Ann Soto (DOB 7/9/59), was arrested in October 2014 after aninvestigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

The defendants planned and executed a complex scheme to use an unsuspecting victim’s Oxnard residence as collateral for a bail bond which secured Lopez’s release from jail in an unrelated Kern County felony case. Hernandez recruited Soto, who assumed the victim’s identity by executing a fraudulent power of attorney. Soto then impersonated the victim while testifying in a bail hearing in Kern Superior court. After the victim’s residence was fraudulently used to secure Lopez’s bail bond and release from custody, Lopez fled the country. As a result, the bondsman who posted Lopez’s bail sought to foreclose on the victim’s residence, which was nearly lost during foreclosure proceedings. Lopez eventually returned to the United States and was arrested.

Lopez previously pleaded guilty to felony charges of perjury and recording a false document and was sentenced to two years in prison on February 27, 2015. Soto previously pleaded guilty to felony perjury and recording a false document and was sentenced to two years in state prison on July 15, 2015.

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Oxnard resident Michael McDevitt pleaded guilty to felony grand theft, tax evasion and foreclosure consultant fraud.

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Oxnard resident Michael McDevitt (DOB 11/24/81) pleaded guilty to felony grand theft, tax evasion and foreclosure consultant fraud. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and the Franchise Tax Board (FTB).

McDevitt operated a fraudulent loan modification company called Scovis Law Group (SLG) in Thousand Oaks, California. Throughout 2010 and 2011, SLG represented that it was an expert in the field of loan modifications despite the illegality of collecting up-front fees in return for these services. In their solicitations for illegal advance fees, McDevitt and his agents made numerous false representations to victims regarding purported loan modifications. In addition to receiving no actual services, the five named victims’ losses were approximately $29,000.

 The FTB investigation determined that McDevitt failed to disclose $67,818 in taxable income for 2009 and failed to report $718,197 in taxable income for 2010. McDevitt is expected receive 16 months in state prison when he is sentenced on September 3, 2015, at 8:30 a.m. in courtroom 26.

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