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California man sentenced 9 years for $6 million real estate scam

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a man from california He was sentenced to nine years in federal prison for being involved in a $6 million real estate scam that listed homes without the consent of the homeowners and solicited money from prospective buyers.

Adolfo Schoneke, 45, was found guilty on October 24 after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in May. His sister and co-conspirator, 39-year-old Bianca Gonzalez, pleaded guilty to the same charges in April, and her sentence is expected in May 2023.

Schoneke, his sister, and co-conspirators operated Cerritos, La Palma, and Long Beach-based real estate and escrow firms under several names, including MCR and West Coast Realty Services. They found properties for sale even though they had no intention of selling them, and many properties were not for sale.

The property was posted on real estate website sold as shortBelow-market sales opportunities. Some homes were sold through open houses arranged by tricking homeowners into allowing them to use their homes.

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A California man has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for being involved in a $6 million real estate scam that listed homes without the consent of the homeowner and solicited money from prospective clients. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File/AP Newsroom)

“Fraud tricks [Schoneke] The sentencing memorandum filed by the prosecutor included a peculiar deceptive means invented, proposed to the co-conspirators, and designed to steal money from as many victims as possible. [Schoneke] I found a way to “sell” a house that he didn’t own and had no business to sell. ”

The victim was led to believe that only one offer for the house had been accepted, even though multiple offers for a house that were not actually for sale had been accepted.

The co-conspirators dragged the victim out for years, claiming the closing was delayed because the lender had to approve a short sale.

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homes for sale

Adolfo Schoneke, 45, was found guilty on October 24 after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in May. His sister and co-conspirator, his 39-year-old Bianca Gonzalez, pleaded guilty to the same charges in April and is expected to face charges. (iStock/iStock)

An office worker opened a bank account to hide the co-conspirators’ involvement in fraud. This account was used to receive housing down payments and other payments from victims who were persuaded to transfer the full “purchase price” after receiving a forged short sale authorization letter.

Office workers were instructed by co-conspirators to withdraw large sums of money from these accounts, making it difficult to track earnings.

As part of the plan, Schoeneke and his co-conspirators Raised over $11.7 million From about 750 victims, according to the judgment memo. Some victims were reimbursed, but the scheme cost nearly 400 victims more than $6 million in losses.

family looking at home

Schoneke, his sister, and co-conspirators operated Cerritos, La Palma, and Long Beach-based real estate and escrow firms under several names. They found a property that had many suitable properties for sale with no intention of selling. (iStock/iStock)

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A return hearing is scheduled for December 12, according to the Federal Attorney’s Office.

Co-conspirator Mario Gonzalez, 50, pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy charges in January 2019 and is expected to be sentenced on April 3, 2023. He is not related to Bianca Gonzalez.

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