Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Monday, August 07, 2006

Need More Pixie Dust ...

...To Get Out Of This Mess.

Liberated from the official RE Industry Blog...Real

"Ready for this one? A former Los Angeles County prosecutor will soon be sentenced on a series of charges, all related to real estate fraud. Fifty-year-old Julie Marie Sergojan recently pleaded guilty to six felony charges including multiple counts of grand theft, identity theft, and forgery, and now remains free on a $500,000 bond pending sentencing, which is currently set for November 9, 2006, in Ventura County (California) Superior Court."

"In 2002, Sergojan engineered a series of frauds so she could purchase a $500,000 home. Her first fraud involved an identity theft and forgery scam that was carried out while working as a Los Angeles County deputy district attorney. Sergojan stole the identity of two people, stealing money from one victim's bank account while opening an account at another bank in the name of the second victim to launder the stolen money."

"This scam netted Sergojan roughly $43,000. Sergojan was prosecuted for this scam in Los Angeles in 2003. In October 2003, she pleaded guilty to four felonies. In January 2004, she earned a probation sentence in that case by paying full restitution to the victims. Sergojan forfeited her state bar license in March 2004."

"In 2004, the Ventura County Sheriff's Department discovered that Julie repaid her Los Angeles victims with proceeds from a new fraud. In October 2003, Sergojan stole her estranged husband's identity to procure a $200,000 loan. She secured the loan by pledging valuable land her husband owns in Sonoma County. Apparently, Sergojan forged all the necessary legal documents, which she was able to do because the entire transaction was conducted via the Internet, e-mail, fax and mail."

"While investigating the loan fraud, detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff's Department discovered that in 2002, Julie financed her Westlake Village home through another loan fraud. To qualify for her $450,000 mortgage, Sergojan forged pay stubs and other documents that dramatically misrepresented her income, assets, and credit worthiness."

"After she closed escrow on her home purchase in August 2002, Julie quickly defaulted on her loan. In June 2003, she conned her bank into clearing $10,000 in fake checks she deposited so that her lender could then negotiate her delinquent mortgage payment. Surprise, surprise- she ultimately lost the home in the spring of 2005."

"As a result of her scams, Julie Sergojan now faces a maximum of eight years and four months in prison."


At 8/07/2006 03:53:00 PM , Anonymous tom stone said...

i think it important to note that this is insane behavior as well as being criminal.i am often surprised at the risk/benefit ratio people are comfortable costs more than $43k to go to law school and pass the bar,in example.and the majority of real estate frauds will be discovered in the normal course of events,and seldom yield enough to pay a first rate attorney enough to represent you at a normal length trial...stupidity and greed are large elements in a lot of this,but a good bit is very clearly nuts.

At 8/08/2006 07:24:00 PM , Blogger demabloggery said...

Love the blog...I recall a conversation with a "finance major" about the stock market back in 2000. He had the same sort of idiotic skepticism that I see now about the housing market. I don't understand what it is about people that they need this level of foolish optimism to make themselves feel better. It's really embarrassing to read some of the arguments...."They aren't making any more land!"..


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