Industry News

Three indicted in $12 million foreclosure scam

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Two Southern California women and one man were indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury for their alleged roles in a $12 million foreclosure scam in which homeowners who were in default on their mortgages were promised refinancing, but ended up having their homes sold to others after the equity had been skimmed. The superseding indictment returned late Wednesday alleges a scheme orchestrated by Martha Rodriguez and Edward Seung Ok, who operated real estate and escrow agencies in Downey and Seal Beach, Calif. Rodriguez, 35, of Downey, and Ok, a 40-year-old Torrance resident, were arrested last November when the grand jury issued its first indictment. Thursday's indictment adds three defendants, as well as additional fraud counts and new identity theft charges. The new defendants are Cynthia Valenzuela, 23, of Downey, who is Martha Rodriguez's cousin; Vladimir Stefanovic, 35, of Lancaster, who is Martha Rodriguez's boyfriend; and Maria G. Juarez, 36, of Reseda. The indictment outlines...