A former Los Angeles County prosecutor pleaded guilty to six felony charges related to two real estate fraud schemes, officials announced last week.
In 2002, Julie Marie Sergojan, 50, engineered a series of frauds so she could purchase a $500,000 home in Westlake Village, Calif., according to the Ventura County District Attorney’s office. Her first fraud was an identity theft and forgery scam that she carried out while working as an L.A. County deputy district attorney. Sergojan stole the identity of two individuals, stealing money from one victim’s bank account while opening an account at another bank in the name of the second victim to launder the stolen money, officials said. This scam netted Sergojan roughly $43,000.
Sergojan was prosecuted for the scam in Los Angeles in 2003, and in October 2003 she pleaded guilty to four felonies. In January 2004, she earned a probation sentence in that case by paying full restitution to the victims. Sergojan forfeited her state bar license in March 2004.
In 2004, the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department discovered that Sergojan repaid her Los Angeles victims with proceeds from a new fraud.
In October 2003, Sergojan stole her estranged husband’s identity to procure a $200,000 loan. She secured the loan by pledging valuable land her husband owns in Sonoma County. Sergojan forged all the necessary legal documents, which she was able to do because the entire transaction was conducted via the Internet, e-mail, fax and mail.
While investigating this loan fraud, detectives from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department discovered that in 2002, Sergojan financed her Westlake Village home purchase through another loan fraud. To qualify for her $450,000 mortgage, Sergojan forged pay stubs and other documents that dramatically misrepresented her income, assets and credit worthiness. After she closed escrow on her home purchase in August 2002, Sergojan quickly defaulted on her loan. In June 2003, she conned her bank into clearing $10,000 in fake checks she deposited so that her lender could then negotiate her delinquent mortgage payment. Sergojan ultimately lost the home in the spring of 2005.
Sergojan pleaded guilty to six felony charges, including multiple counts of grand theft, identity theft and forgery. Sergojan has posted a $500,000 bond and remains free pending her sentencing, which is set for Nov. 9, 2006, at 8:30 a.m. in Division 25 of the Ventura County Superior Court.
She faces a maximum sentence of eight years and four months in prison.
The prosecution of Sergojan follows an investigation conducted by the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department, with assistance from the Southern California High Tech Task Force.