A grand jury in Yamhill County, Ore., last week handed down indictments of seven suspects accused of perpetrating one of the state's worst real-estate scams. Together, the seven face 39 counts of racketeering, theft, forgery, broker fraud and other charges. The suspects, all Latinos, are accused of bilking thousands of dollars from other Latinos who wanted to buy, refinance or sell homes in the area, about an hour southwest of Portland. All the victims speak little to no English. Many lost their life savings or homes, and at least one family ended up in a homeless shelter after they lost their house. The alleged Oregon fraud is just one example of an ever-increasing crime that affects both borrowers and lenders across the country. Deputy district attorney Alicia Eagan said it's difficult to pin down exactly how much money was involved in the scheme or exactly how far it stretched. Steve Corson, spokesman for Oregon's Department of Consumer and Business Services, said the case is the ...
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