West Hollywood, Calif. Man sentenced to over 12 years in prison for real estate fraud scheme that victimized more than 2,000 homeowners – caused more than $ 7 million in losses
Aug 3, 2021 – LOS ANGELES – A West Hollywood man was sentenced Monday to 152 months in federal prison for orchestrating a real estate fraud scheme that claimed more than 2,000 lives home owners, involved fraudulent deposits that affected title to property across the country and caused more than $ 7 million in losses.
Patrick Joseph Soria, 35, was convicted by US District Judge Dale S. Fischer, who called Soria a “clever crook who created a very sophisticated ploy”. Judge Fischer also said: “This is not the biggest case I have presided over in dollar terms, but it is the most cheeky and cruel.”
A restitution hearing is scheduled for October 25. Soria pleaded guilty on March 2 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of contempt of court.
From January 2015 to June 2018, Soria stole money from homeowners and potential buyers through a two-tier program.
First, Soria has misappropriated title to the property through fraudulent title deposits made at county registrars’ offices across the country. He falsified the documents to make it look like he owned the properties, then “sold” the properties to the victims who thought they were buying the homes from the real owner. In fact, Soria never owned the houses and instead used the victims’ ‘purchase’ money for his personal expenses, including escort services, luxury hotel stays, and car rental. Bentley and Lamborghini cars.
In the second part of the device, Soria convinced homeowners that he could help them with their mortgage, either by assisting them with a loan modification or by taking over their mortgage from their lender, with the promised result, in both cases. , reduce their mortgage. Payments. He told them that he had been successful in this field in the past, and he convinced them that he was trying to help them, often befriending them to gain their trust and give them hope. But as Justice Fischer said at today’s hearing, “Mr. Soria turned their hopes into a nightmare.
After winning the trust of the victims, Soria convinced the homeowners to stop paying their real lender and start paying them. With even more fraudulent statements, Soria deceived his victims into believing that he had taken over their mortgages. He also falsely urged victims to do nothing to protect themselves when they began to receive notices of seizure and eviction. Many homeowners targeted by the program have lost their homes.
As part of the fraud, Soria used company names such as HBSC US and Deutsche Mellon National Asset LLC, which were designed to trick owners into believing these companies were real. He also took advantage of the complex mix of lenders, trustees, beneficiaries and services in the mortgage market, and inter-entity mortgage assignments, to confuse homeowners and give the impression that he in fact owned. properties and mortgages. .
Over 2,000 people have fallen victim to this program. Soria admitted in court documents that the losses totaled more than $ 7.6 million. In addition to causing losses to individual homeowners, the scam also victimized many lenders who held mortgages or other interests in the properties affected by the scheme.
The targeted properties were located across the country, including Texas, New York, Nevada, and the California cities of Vernon, Beverly Hills, Santa Ana, Yorba Linda, Anaheim and elsewhere.
In a related case, Soria committed numerous acts of contempt of court in a related civil case before Judge Fischer, Nationstar Mortgage LLC v. Patrick Soria, et al., 18-cv-03041-DSF-RAO (CD Cal.), Including voluntary expenditure of funds subject to an asset freeze. The contempt resulted in his incarceration in 2018 and criminal charges filed by the court in 2019 by way of a show cause order.
This matter was investigated by the FBI and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of the Inspector General, with assistance from the Los Angeles Police Department; the Beverly Hills Police Department; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; San Joaquin County District Attorney’s Office; Ventura County District Attorney’s Office; and the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.
Assistant United States Attorney Kerry L. Quinn of the Major Fraud Section continued this case.
Source: MJ press release