The Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office charged eight people with over 76 counts of California real estate fraud. The scam, which generated $13 million in profit, involved more than 20 properties. Charges for these crimes include grand theft, forgery, perjury and failure to file income tax returns. Many of these charges arise from involvement with California “straw buyer” schemes.
California “straw buyer” schemes involve individuals…known as straw buyers…who knowingly agree to purchase or acquire property for someone who is personally unable to complete the transaction. And while this may not seem like a serious offense, it constitutes fraud.
In fact, with respect to this case, the network of straw buyers obtained fraudulent financing for 23 properties, each ranging from $500,000 to $700,000. Eight financial institutions were defrauded as a result of these straw buyer schemes.
If convicted of these offenses, the “orchestrator” of the scam faces 72 years in the California state prison. Other people involved in processing these fraudulent straw buyer transactions face similar sentences…one faces 65 years in prison and another faces 70 years.