Fraudster’s conviction clouds real estate title

Can criminal forfeit half of a house?

John Serendensky, also known as John Vitolano, Joseph Foti and Guy Foti, pled guilty and was convicted of bank fraud and conspiracy to launder money. Under federal law, he was ordered to forfeit his interest in a house he jointly owned with his wife, Maria Caporale. After the criminal action was brought against Serendensky, he and Caporale stopped making payments on their $168,000 mortgage from Wilmington National Finance, which began a foreclosure action. At the lender's foreclosure sale, the house was purchased by Plaza Homes LLC, which immediately resold the home to Barbara Pacheco who was informed about Serendensky's pending forfeiture. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Pacheco brought a lawsuit to determine her ownership rights in the house. She argued the government could not acquire half of the house by forfeiture because co-owner Maria Caporale was an innocent co-owner. But the government replied Pacheco knew of the criminal proceedings and the pending forfeiture before ...