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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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Juan Carlos Guerra of Simi Valley has pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft

VENTURA, California – District Attorney Gregory D. Totten announced today that Sunland resident Juan Carlos Guerra (DOB 5/5/86) has pleaded guilty to one felony count of grand theft. The case was the result of an investigation conducted by the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit. He will be sentenced on September 19, 2017 and will face a maximum of 365 days in prison. He will be ordered to $20,000 in victim restitution.

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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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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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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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