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Local Realtor Charged with Income Tax Evasion

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today the filing of charges against Camarillo resident Debra Elaine Ashcraft (DOB 11/23/57). Ashcraft is charged with one felony count of structuring and five felony counts of income tax evasion. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and the California Franchise Tax Board.

 

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Husband and Wife Charged in Real Estate Scam

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today the arrests of Riverside County residents James Anthony Rojas (DOB 1/11/1957) and Yvonne Georganna Martinez (DOB 2/14/1953). Rojas is charged with one felony count of foreclosure consultant fraud and six felony counts of recording a false instrument. Martinez is charged with two felony counts of recording a false instrument. The defendants are also charged with special allegations that each caused victim losses in excess of $1 million. The charges are the result of an investigation conducted by the Ventura County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.
Rojas Martinez

The defendants targeted real estate owned by five senior citizens in Ventura County. The ages of the victims range from 66 to 90 years old. The defendants targeted the victims’ properties with false encumbrances or conveyances that clouded lawful title to each affected property.

The defendants are due in court on June 25, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom 12 for an early disposition conference. Both defendants remain in custody. Bail for each is currently set at $1 million. Before posting bail, the defendants will be required to establish that any monies or collateral used to post bail were not feloniously obtained.


The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice

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Los Angeles Man Pleads Guilty in Real Estate Scam

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that on April 29, 2019, Los Angeles County resident Andrew Levy (DOB 9/13/1958) pled guilty to two felony counts of Penal Code section 115, recording a false document. Levy also admitted a special allegation that his crimes caused a loss in excess of $200,000. The plea was the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit and the Los Angeles Police Department.

REFAT INMATE APR copyLevy conspired with other charged co-defendants to file a fraudulent lawsuit in the Ventura County Superior Court. The lawsuit falsely claimed a Los Angeles property owner reneged on an agreement to sell her property to one of Levy’s co-conspirators, Patricia Jenkins (DOB 1/8/1955). Levy, a disbarred attorney, initially identified and targeted the property, then drafted the fraudulent lawsuit for Jenkins’ signature. Another charged co-conspirator (Theodore Brian Childers, DOB 6/24/1938) is charged with filing paperwork with the court falsely claiming the property owner was provided notice of the fraudulent lawsuit.

Since the property owner was unaware of the lawsuit, she never appeared to contest it. As a result, a Ventura County Superior Court judge issued a judgment awarding her property to Jenkins.  Another charged co-conspirator (Delano Bonier Hankins, DOB 2/11/1971) is charged with using the judgment to open escrow in Los Angeles. The property was then sold to an unsuspecting buyer for $428,600.

Levy will be sentenced on May 28, 2019, at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 12 of the Ventura County Superior Court. It is expected he will be sentenced to five years in state prison. Levy will also be ordered to pay restitution. Jenkins pled guilty last year and will be sentenced on August 14, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom 12. Childers’ and Hankins’ cases remain pending in the Ventura County Superior Court; they are due back in court on May 13, 2019, at 1:30 p.m. in courtroom 12.

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The Ventura County District Attorney’s Office is the public prosecutor for the county’s 850,000 residents. The office employs approximately 280 employees including attorneys, investigators, victim advocates, and other professional support staff who strive to seek justice, ensure public safety, and protect the rights of crime victims.

Follow the Ventura County District Attorney’s Office on Twitter @VenturaDAOffice

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Camarillo resident Javier Gonzalo Sanchez (DOB 6/18/62) was ordered to serve 1 year in jail for two felony counts of foreclosure consultant fraud.

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Camarillo resident Javier Gonzalo Sanchez (DOB 6/18/62) was ordered to serve 365 days in the Ventura County jail. In May, Sanchez pled guilty to two felony counts of foreclosure consultant fraud.

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Trio Sentenced to Prison for Sophisticated Real Estate Scam

VENTURA, California  District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Los Angeles County residents Patrick Abrahamian (DOB 1/6/70), Michelle Abrahamian (DOB 5/27/71), and Taline Indra (DOB 2/29/80) were each sentenced to prison for their theft of a Bell Canyon home. Patrick Abrahamian was sentenced to 11 years 4 months in prison. Michelle Abrahamian and Taline Indra were each sentenced to 7 years 8 months in prison.  In February, the defendants were convicted following a one-month jury trial.  The case is the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

In 2012, Patrick Abrahamian approached the 65-year-old victim with an offer to help him negotiate a modification of his mortgage.  In return, the victim agreed to move out and lease his home to the Abrahamians while Patrick Abrahamian supposedly negotiated a new mortgage for the victim.  At the end of the lease term, the Abrahamians refused to vacate the home.  After consulting with an attorney, the victim learned that a notarized grant deed had been recorded conveying his home, as a gift, to Abrahamian’s wife, Michelle Abrahamian.  At the time of the offenses, Michelle Abrahamian was a licensed real estate agent.

The deed gifting away the victim’s home was fraudulently notarized by defendant Taline Indra, who is Michelle Abrahamian’s sister.  Patrick Abrahamian subsequently impersonated the victim in a lawsuit filed by Abrahamian against the victim’s mortgage lender.  This impersonation caused additional false documents to be filed in both the Ventura Superior Court and the County Recorder’s Office.     Michelle Abrahamian was found in possession of notary acknowledgments that falsely claimed the victim had appeared before defendant Indra to have his signature notarized.

Judge Michael Lief noted that the sophistication and brazenness of the defendants’ fraudulent scheme “shocked the conscience of the court.” In addition to the prison sentence, each defendant was also fined $500,000 and ordered to pay $189,382 in victim restitution.

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Trio Convicted in Sophisticated Real Estate Scam

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Los Angeles County residents Patrick Abrahamian (DOB 1/6/70), Michelle Abrahamian (DOB 5/27/71), and Taline Indra (DOB 2/29/80) were convicted by a jury of offenses relating to the theft of a Bell Canyon home.   Patrick Abrahamian was found guilty of three counts of Penal Code section 115, recording or filing a false document. Michelle Abrahamian was found guilty of violating Penal Code section 115 and Penal Code section 475, forgery. Taline Indra was found guilty of violating Penal Code section 115 and Penal Code section 470. The jury also found true special allegations that the value of the loss exceeded $500,000. The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

In 2012, Patrick Abrahamian approached the 65-year-old victim with an offer to help him negotiate a modification of his mortgage. In return, the victim agreed to move out and lease his home to the Abrahamians while Patrick Abrahamian purportedly negotiated a new mortgage for the victim. At the end of the lease term, the Abrahamians refused to vacate the home. After consulting with an attorney, the victim learned that a forged grant deed had been recorded conveying his home, as a gift, to Michelle Abrahamian. At the time of the offenses, Michelle Abrahamian was a licensed real estate agent.

The forged deed gifting away the victim’s home was fraudulently notarized by defendant Taline Indra, who is Michelle Abrahamian’s sister. Patrick Abrahamian subsequently impersonated the victim in a lawsuit filed by Abrahamian against the victim’s mortgage lender. This impersonation caused additional false documents to be filed in both the Ventura Superior Court and the County Recorder’s Office. Michelle Abrahamian was found in possession of notary acknowledgments that falsely claimed the victim had appeared before Indra to have his signature notarized.

After the guilty verdicts were returned, Judge Michael Lief remanded the defendants into custody to be held without bail pending sentencing. Sentencing for all defendants is scheduled on March 29, 2018, in courtroom 27 of the Ventura Superior Court, County of Ventura.  Each defendant faces a maximum possible sentence of 11 years in state prison.

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Post-Disaster Scam Advisory I VC District Attorney’s Office

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten warned today that county residents should exercise increased vigilance against scams designed to exploit residents impacted by the Thomas fire.

The District Attorney recommends the following tips to avoid becoming a victim:

·         Scammers posing as insurance company representatives may call homeowners with an option to pay an increased premium over the phone to expand coverage options for possible smoke damage, or to pay their deductible in the same manner. Insured individuals are advised to contact their insurance companies directly regarding any offers related to their insurance coverage. Only accept information from trusted sources.

·         Exercise caution regarding unsolicited clean-up, repair, or construction scams. These scams are initiated door-to-door in impacted neighborhoods. They may involve demands for upfront payment or deposits, which are then pocketed while the promised work is never completed. Instead use only licensed contractors. You can verify a contractor’s license at http://www.cslb.ca.gov/. If a contractor claims necessary work is covered by your insurance company, first call your insurance company to confirm. Consider using contractors recommended by your insurance company for any needed work and obtain more than one estimate. Also consider only using contractors with a local business location.

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Defendant Pleads Guilty in Mortgage Rescue Fraud Scam

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Orange County resident Rex Salonga (DOB 2/21/71) pled guilty to one felony count of grand theft, in violation of Penal Code section 487. The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

The victim, who lives in Oxnard, sought a mortgage loan modification from Salonga’s business, Stone Crest Mortgage. Salonga falsely claimed he was a licensed real estate agent and promised to help the victim obtain a loan modification. Salonga solicited approximately $9,000 from the victim, claiming the money would be passed on to the victim’s mortgage lender. Salonga instead deposited the money into his own bank account. The victim received no actual assistance from Salonga.

Salonga will be sentenced on January 5, 2018, at 9:00 a.m. in Ventura Superior Court, courtroom 12. He faces up to 365 days in jail and 60 months of formal probation and will be ordered to pay restitution. Salonga was convicted earlier this year of felony grand theft in Orange County for similar conduct. Consumers can verify the status of any individual’s real estate license at http://www.calbre.ca.gov.

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Prosecution Update: William Kenneth O’Daniel faces 120 days in prison & 36 months of probation.

District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Thousand Oaks resident William Kenneth O’Daniel (DOB 6/6/61) was sentenced to 120 days in jail and placed on 36 months of formal probation. O’Daniel had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of False Personation under Penal Code section 529. The charges were the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit.

Throughout 2011 and 2012, O’Daniel used the identity of two licensed mortgage brokers to process numerous loans without their knowledge or permission. The financial institution that funded the loans had previously discontinued using O’Daniel as an approved broker. They were unaware O’Daniel was processing new loans under the assumed identities.

O’Daniel’s real estate broker license, and the corporate broker license of his company, Malibu Mortgage, Inc., were both earlier revoked by the California Bureau of Real Estate.

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