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Economic Climate Ripe for Allegations of Real Estate Fraud in Santa Ana

March 29, 2011

A 57-year-old woman pleaded "absolutely not guilty" to charges of real estate fraud in Santa Ana after authorities accuse her of swindling nuns out of $285,000 in a fraudulent property deal, according to the Orange County Register.

A Santa Ana real estate defense lawyer should be consulted as early as possible in such investigations. Allegations have skyrocketed since the downturn in the economy. In many cases, it is the same banks or mortgage companies that caused the meltdown that are now claiming fraud over no-doc mortgage loans and other questionable deals. In other cases, legitimate investors were caught holding property when the music stopped and were financially ruined only to face charges of criminal wrongdoing.
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And in still other cases investors made bad deals and now want to claim criminal wrongdoing.

These are complex cases. And what has not increased through this process is the resources dedicated to them by state and federal government -- even as the number of allegations and prosecutions exploded. The resulting chances of being caught up in a questionable prosecution are significant. In many cases, authorities hope to just move clients through the system by offering them pleas.

In this case, the defendant surrendered to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to face three counts of wire fraud. The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Central District of Florida claims the defendant used the money to pay for personal expenses, including pet sitting and lingerie. She is accused of defrauding the U.S. Province of the Religious of Jesus and Mary, Inc. a congregation of Roman Catholic sisters based in Rhode Island.

The defendant operated Rose Enterprises Inc, in Tustin, a business that assisted clients with delinquent mortgages and real estate transactions. When she learned the sisters were interested in purchasing property in San Diego, she allegedly used a fake letter from a California attorney to convince the nuns to wire the funds.

In other fraud news this month, The Orange County Register reports a broker is facing charges of real estate fraud in Irvine after a longtime friend accused him of stealing $1.75 million.

The allegations involve a plan to buy, rehab and sell distressed homes for a profit.

If you are facing charges of real estate fraud in Santa Ana, contact the Law Offices of Vincent J. LaBarbera Jr. to discuss your rights. Through three decades of experienced, Attorney LaBarbera has argued over 200 criminal trials and appeals. Call (714) 541-9668 for a confidential appointment to discuss your rights.