One Costa Mesa man and three men from Irvine were convicted of fraud in a real estate scam that affected hundreds of victims. According to The Daily Pilot, the four men pleaded guilty recently to one felony count of conspiracy to collect illegal upfront fees and three of the men pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit theft by false pretenses. A fifth man involved in the scam pleaded guilty in June 2012. The potential penalties for the men include six to nine months in jail, formal probation, and restitution.
Officials say the men created several loan modification businesses to take more than $130,000 from hundreds of victims in California and other states. They allegedly used fake businesses to entice homeowners to restructure their loans. They then kept the money and performed no services.
Conspiracy is a crime involving two or more people hatching an illegal plan. Conspiracy under California Penal Code 182 is a group of individuals planning on committing a crime and at least one of them overtly acts to further the plan. It is common for these individuals to face penalties for conspiracy along with penalties for the specific crime that was committed.
The type of conspiracy that the defendant is charged with will determine the punishment. Some conspiracy cases are “wobblers,” which means that they may be prosecuted as misdemeanors or felonies. The severity of the penalties for conspiracy to commit a crime is often directly related to the type and severity of the associated offense.
Anyone being investigated or facing multiple charges for theft, fraud, or conspiracy should contact a skilled criminal defense attorney before talking with the law enforcement authorities.
David A. Stein is a skilled criminal defense attorney with a track record of obtaining very successful outcomes for his clients. If you have been accused of a crime or need help with any criminal matter, contact our law offices today at (949) 445-0040 for a consultation.