Federal officials announced the indictments of 20 people Thursday in two California-based foreclosure rescue and equity-stripping schemes that allegedly netted more than $12 million from more than 100 victims who were left without their homes.

A 33-year-old Los Angeles resident, Charles Head, is accused of orchestrating both schemes, which allegedly used straw buyers to obtain title to the homes of troubled borrowers.

A federal grand jury indicted 16 people involved in an alleged foreclosure rescue scam on Feb. 28, which prosecutors said netted $6.7 million from 47 homeowners, nearly all in California.

Prosecutors said victims believed that they were making rental payments to "investors" whom they agreed to add to the title of their home. The "investors" were actually straw buyers who often replaced homeowners on the title. After taking out a new mortgage to extract the home’s equity, the defendants would sell the victims’ home, stop making the mortgage payments, or begin eviction proceedings against the victims, prosecutors said.

In a second, March 13 indictment, a federal grand jury indicted seven defendants — including Head and two others named in the Feb. 28 indictment — in connection with an alleged equity-stripping scheme that netted $5.9 million from 68 homeowners nationwide.


What’s your opinion? Leave your comments below or send a letter to the editor.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Real estate news and analysis that gives you the inside track. Subscribe to Inman Select for 50% off.SUBSCRIBE NOW×
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