Luxury homes are easy to come by in towns like La Jolla and Del Mar, wealthy ocean-bordering suburbs of San Diego.
Thus, they may look like easy targets for those wanting to take advantage of the fast-moving, cash-rich luxury home market.
But eventually you miss the target, and your arrow lands precisely where you don’t want it to.
A real estate broker and an executive from a real estate investment firm are facing charges for defrauding lenders in a re-financing scam.
The San Diego pair were allegedly forging documents that showed home loans for several multi-million homes were paid off. They then used those documents to earn new loans from various lenders against the houses.
Naturally, these two weren’t the only ones involved in the racket, as is usually the case.
One someone gets a sniff of a scam going right, others want on board. Problem is, the more you have no board, the easier it is for the ship to sink.
Peter Cash Doye, the investment executive, and Raquel Reid, the broker, were also defrauding banks by living in homes they purchased as investment properties.
the more you have no board, the easier it is for the ship to sink.
Mortgage rules require buyers to state legally the intent of their ownership. Loan terms are different for second and vacation homes, or properties intended to be used specifically for financial gain.
The forged documents at the heart of the scam were created by a real estate attorney named Jeff Greenburg from Arizona. Who better to help in such a operation?
There’s always an attorney somewhere in a case like this.
What’s most interesting about this case is that it’s a tired crime. It’s been done for years. There is no shortage of developers, mortgage executives, appraisers, and real estate agents conspiring to create fake loans, forge appraisals, and falsify construction loans.
Most often these plans involve suburban tract homes, which because of volume and smaller dollar amounts are easier to slip by financial organizations who monitor for such activity.
The San Diego crew’s first mistake was using highly prominent mansions. Yes, San Diego has its share of luxury homes, but a lot of money is a lot of money, regardless of market.
Specifically, the team in question created fake lien release forms and recorded them in city records offices. They were even legally notarized to appear authentic.
Perhaps the most tragic aspect of all this is that the odds of these folks seeing significant jail time are small. Granted, they have to pay back a lot of money, which is no doubt already hidden in offshore holdings somewhere.
The luxury home market in La Jolla and Del Mar might feel a slight hiccup from having several luxury properties hanging around the market while the Feds sort it all out.