Officials launched a 102-count criminal complaint against a Northern California man Thursday for his alleged role in a real estate investment scheme.

The District Attorney of Santa Cruz County in California filed a felony complaint against Michael J. Schneider, alleging he stole more than $17.5 million from a group of local investors who were led to believe that they were making secured real estate loans through Schneider’s company, California Plan Inc., according to a statement from the DA’s office.

Bail was set at $10 million.

Since 1993, Schneider owned and operated California Plan, located at 3595 Stevens Creek Road in San Jose, Calif., according to officials.

Schneider and his company were licensed by the Department of Real Estate as mortgage brokers. The accused’s company specialized in finding private moneylenders to make “equity mortgage loans” to borrowers who were in need of money, officials said, and the company would also act as the loan-servicing agent for the investors that made real estate loans through Schneider.

In the Santa Cruz case, Schneider allegedly failed to secure investors’ loans with validly recorded deeds of trust and instead would give investors phony deeds and keep their money, officials said.

Schneider also allegedly failed to tell investors when their loans were paid off and kept the loan payoff where he did record a deed of trust, officials said, and the accused would send monthly loan payments to investors to keep them from discovering the fraudulent acts.

Schneider’s scheme involved 71 loan transactions from 1995 through December 2005, according to the investigation. Schneider was previously arrested by Santa Clara authorities on May 1, 2006, for similar charges involving investors from Santa Clara County, and he has been in custody since his arrest in Santa Clara.

Persons who may have invested with Schneider/California Plan are encouraged to contact inspector Kent Schlumbrecht at the District Attorney’s Office 831-454-2574.

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
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Black Friday starts now! We've got great deals on Inman Connect New York in-person and virtual tickets. Register now×
Cyber Week Sale: Get 1 year of Inman Select for $75.SUBSCRIBE×
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