The FBI arrested two Californians last week for allegedly victimizing dozens of Los Angeles County homeowners by falsely promising they could stop foreclosures, federal authorities said, according to media reports.

Martha Rodriguez, 33, of Downey, Calif., and Edward Seung Ok, 39, of Torrance, Calif., defrauded homeowners out of at least $8 million, according to an indictment by a Los Angeles federal grand jury, reports said.

The pair were arrested Wednesday by the FBI for allegedly promising that co-signers would help homeowners refinance their mortgages until they could clean up their credit and get new loans, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Instead, the indictment alleged, Rodriguez and Seung used falsified mortgage applications to defraud lenders and the homeowners, causing losses of at least $8 million, the Times reported.

Attorneys for Rodriguez and Seung couldn’t be reached by the Times for comment.

Mortgage fraud is on the upswing, with the number of suspicious activity reports to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in 2004 almost triple those in 2003, according to a report the FBI released in May.

According to the Federal Financial Institutions Council, up to 10 percent of all mortgage loan applications in the $3 trillion annual U.S. residential real estate market involve some form of material misrepresentation. States are taking action to counter this trend, with Georgia’s new Residential Mortgage Fraud Act having been signed into law May 5 by Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue.

***

Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Inman Connect Las Vegas is back and there are only a few presale tickets left! Register today before they're gone.REGISTER×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription