Suspects in real estate scam get prison time

PICO RIVERA – Four suspects accused of duping more than 500 people out of millions of dollars through a loan modification real estate scam were sentenced to prison last week. The investigation began in September 2009, when a group of Spanish-speaking people called the Pico Rivera Sheriff’s Station claiming they had lost their homes after paying a company, Safe Haven, also known as Your Dreams Come True, to help stop foreclosure on their properties.

Based in Pico Rivera, Safe Haven posed as a loan modification and foreclosure consultant company, “but the entire premise of their business was a scam,” authorities said.

Prosecutors said Safe Haven preyed on Spanish-speaking victims by advertising on Christian Spanish radio.

Investigators served multiple search warrants, “which led to the seizure of thousands of fraudulent documents and paperwork showing clouded titles on the victims’ homes,” authorities said. “All the homes were being foreclosed on and all of the victims’ money had been taken/misused by the suspects.”

The first suspect, Alex Canjura, accepted a plea agreement Sept. 3 and was sentenced to five years in prison, which he started serving immediately.

Alex Jurardo, Erika Perez and Oswaldo Flores accepted plea deals Dec. 5. Jurardo was sentenced to five years in prison while Perez and Flores each received 16 months in local custody.

All were ordered to pay $4.5 million in restitution.

Another suspect, Candy Cabrera, fled to Canada and is now a fugitive in her native Nicaragua, officials said.

Tanmay Mistray, an attorney involved in the Safe Haven operation, was charged with 13 counts of professional misconduct and was disbarred by the state bar.



Published: Dec. 18, 2014 - Volume 13 - Issue 36