Grand Jury Indictment in Foreclosure Scam

Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced that Alan David Tikal, owner of Las Vegas-based “KATN Trust”, along with local agents Bruce Blankenhorn, Luis De Leon, and attorney Linda Voss have been indicted by the Criminal Grand Jury of Alameda County on 29 felony counts related to a massive foreclosure rescue scam.

The Indictment filed at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland alleges that the defendants committed various acts of real estate fraud by: 1) Accepting advance fees for a loan modification in violation of the California Mortgage Securities Act; 2) Filed false documents with the Alameda County Recorder’s Office; and 3) Committed grand theft by charging homeowners for a foreclosure rescue scam that did not work.

Eleven different homeowners from throughout Alameda County are named as victims in the indictment. Mr. Tikal, as the owner of the KATN Trust, faces just under 22 years state prison if convicted on all counts. Mr. Tikal was arrested in Las Vegas by the Las Vegas Police Department on a warrant issued in this case, and is facing extradition proceedings to California. Mr. Blankenhorn, Mr. De Leon, and Ms. Voss are scheduled to appear in Department 11 of the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse on Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 9:00 AM to be arraigned on the Indictment.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office was assisted in their investigation in this matter by the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office, the Alameda County Clerk-Recorder’s Office, the Las Vegas Police Department, and various Federal law enforcement agencies. “The inter-agency cooperation exhibited in this matter is a testament to the commitment by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office to protect our residents from becoming victims to real estate fraud,” said O’Malley.

Without commenting on the particular facts of this case, Deputy District Attorney David Lim, who is assigned the Alameda County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, noted, “There are a large number of companies out there who will promise to get homeowners a reduction of 20, 30, or even 75 percent on your current home loan, or will promise to help wipe out your loan all together. We urge all residents to view these claims with caution.” Lim also noted that in California it is illegal for any company or individual to charge fees in advance before doing any sort of loan modification.

The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office maintains a Real Estate Fraud Division dedicated to protecting residents from scam and dishonest dealing in all real estate transactions. Any individuals who feel them may be the victim of real estate fraud are urged to contact the Real Estate Fraud Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office at (510) 569-9281.

Posted on Feb 14, 2011