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News & Press: Industry News

Mortgage Fraud Criminals Sentenced

Tuesday, February 19, 2019  
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California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced the sentencing of a scammer for operating a mortgage fraud scheme throughout Southern California and the Inland Empire that preyed on homeowners facing foreclosure. Mr. Prakashumar Bhakta was sentenced to seven years and eight months in state prison. Restitution will be ordered in the amount of $256,000. Co-defendants Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Marcus Robinson, and David Boyd previously pled guilty. They were sentenced to state prison terms ranging from four years to seven years and four months.

The fraud scheme stretched through San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties. Defendants convinced distressed homeowners that they could provide legal assistance to help save their home. They persuaded victims to pay them $3,500 to start; then $1,000 monthly; and separate fees for filing legal documents. Defendants filed and recorded numerous fraudulent documents, including false bankruptcies and false court filings. The scam defrauded lenders and other owners of their rightful possession of the residential properties. Meanwhile, the defendants took thousands of dollars from homeowner victims to perform fraudulent services. Bhakta, who was an integral part of the scheme, falsely notarized numerous fractional interest grant deeds without the presence of the person whose signature was being notarized. Bhakta, the last defendant to admit fault, pled guilty on November 28, 2018, to 113 felony charges, including conspiracy, grand theft, and the filing of false or forged documents.

The guilty pleas and sentences result from a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice, Fraud and Special Prosecutions Section; the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of the Inspector General; and the Stanislaus County District Attorney.

California Land Title Association


1215 K Street #1816 Sacramento, CA 95814-3905
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