News Details

District Attorney’s Office Successful in Prosecuting Real Estate Fraud Cases

Begun in April 2009, the first full year of the program proves successful.

(Santa Ana) Approved by the Board of Supervisors on February 20, 2009 and officially begun in April of 2009, the Real Estate Fraud Prosecution Program has proven successful in its first full year of operation. There have been 14 convictions, 36 cases filed, 11 cases referred to other agencies, with 298 ongoing investigations.

“With the collapse of the mortgage industry and the drop in local real estate prices leading to vacant properties across the County, it is extremely important that the County maintain a program to aggressively deal with this problem,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors.

In addition to the work of two Deputy District Attorneys, three Investigators and a Paralegal, a key contributor in combating real estate fraud is the County Clerk Recorder’s Courtesy Protection Program. Upon the transfer of a title to a property, the Courtesy Protection Program sends a notification to the last address advising that the transfer document was recorded. If there is a fraudulent transfer of title, it allows the victim homeowner to realize it early rather than years later when the property may be refinanced and the equity skimmed from the property. Seniors can be prime targets for this type of fraud as many have large equity interests in their property.

“This program is a great example of County agencies working together to combat fraud,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors. “The District Attorney’s Office and the County Clerk Recorder have done a great job in establishing a program that has proven to be very effective to protect our county’s residents.”

To report an incidence of real estate fraud, residents can call the Real Estate Fraud Hotline at (714) 347-0850 or fill out a complaint form online.

Supervisor Janet Nguyen serves as Chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors and represents the First District. She also serves as Chair of the OCTA’s Transit Committee. She represents more than 600,000 people, covering the cities of Garden Grove, Santa Ana, Westminster and the unincorporated community of Midway City. Orange County ranks sixth in the nation as the most populous county and has the nation’s seventh highest annual budget.

Contact: Kathryn Feather 714.834.3110