Understanding and Avoiding Real Estate Fraud Forum

Press Release Date:

October 5, 2006

The District Attorney’s Office will be participating in a forum entitled “Understanding and Avoiding Real Estate Fraud” on Friday, October 6, 2006. The forum is offered to members of Ventura County ‘s real estate profession by the Real Estate Fraud Advisory Team (REFAT), in conjunction with the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Program. REFAT is comprised of real estate professionals from every field in the industry and its mission is to educate the public and real estate industry professionals regarding fraudulent schemes and practices that are occurring at an alarming rate. The F.B.I. considers mortgage fraud to be one of the fastest growing white-collar crimes in the United States.

At the forum, local documentary film director Dulanie Ellis will debut a short documentary film entitled Predatory Practices, which she produced in conjunction with the REFAT. Predatory Practices highlights examples of real estate fraud victimization and it will enhance awareness of the issue throughout Ventura County.

Following the documentary, a panel will address an estimated audience of 250 real estate professionals. Speakers include Jim Keith, chair of the Ventura County Coastal Association of Realtors® Professional Standards Committee; Anne Nelson Lanphar, Vice President and Senior Underwriter, First American Title Company; Todd Shillington, President, Central Coast Chapter, California Association of Mortgage Brokers; and Miles Weiss, Senior Deputy District Attorney.

In addressing the importance of this topic, Mr. Totten emphasized, “Real estate fraud strikes at the heart of the American dream. A sophisticated criminal can victimize dozens of people at a time by stealing their life savings and their most valuable asset – their homes.”

The forum will be held in Oxnard at the Marriot Courtyard Hotel commencing at 9:00 a.m. Members of the media wishing to attend the forum should contact Kay Runnion at (805) 981-2100 extension 106.


Miles Weiss, Senior Deputy District Attorney