Karl Robinson, 49, faces one count of conspiracy to offer a false or forged instrument and 13 counts of offering a false and forged document for recordation.
Four others are also facing charges in connection with the alleged scam, which authorities said involved targeting homeowners by promising to delay foreclosures and evictions in exchange for cash up-front, followed by monthly fees.
The defendants offered to delay trustees’ sales for their clients, but did not disclose that they accomplished the delay by recording backdated and forged deeds of trust, authorities said.
The charges were filed in Alameda County, according to Alameda County District Attorney Nancy
E. O’Malley and Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI's Los Angeles
Field Office Bill L. Lewis.
Additionally, the defendants allegedly filed false bankruptcies and sent copies to the trustees responsible for the sale of clients’ properties, which resulted in delaying the sale of the home until the lender could get relief from the automatic stay caused by the bankruptcy filing.
Clients’ signatures were forged on the deeds of trust. A counterfeit notary stamp and forged notary signature were used to complete and record the deeds of trust, according to authorities.
On September 20, the Alameda County Superior Court issued arrest warrants for the defendants.
This case was initiated when and the Alameda County Recorder’s Office reported the alleged fraud to the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office.
Investigators determined that the fraudulent operation began in 2008 when defendant Karl Robinson allegedly filed an initial bankruptcy in his own name.
Analysis by investigators has determined that the defendants filed more than 130 bankruptcies in the state of California and victimized hundreds of clients.
Investigators estimate that the defendants collected in excess of $5 million from victims between 2008 and 2010.
This investigation is continuing and is a result of a joint effort by a number of agencies, including the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office; U.S. Office of Trustees; Federal Housing and Finance Administration – Office of Inspector General; the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department; the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI.