Conviction in Foreclosure Scam

Alan David Tikal and Las Vegas-Based 'KATN Trust' Convicted of Felony Counts
Related to Foreclosure Rescue Scam

OAKLAND -- Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O'Malley announced today that Alan David Tikal, owner of Las Vegas-based “KATN Trust”, was convicted of two felony counts related to a massive foreclosure rescue scam on Monday, October 31, 2011.

Tikal entered pleas of “no contest” and was found guilty by the court of one felony charge of filing false documents, a violation of Penal Code § 115, and one felony charge of accepting advance fees for a loan modification, a violation of Civil Code § 2945.4. As part of his plea, Tikal will serve 16 months in state prison, and be ordered to pay restitution to the 11 homeowners in Alameda County victimized by this scam.

Tikal entered his pleas just prior to the start of a jury trial at the Rene C. Davidson Courthouse in Oakland, California. Tikal had been in custody since his arrest in Las Vegas in January after an Alameda County grand jury returned a 29 count indictment against Tikal for: 1) Accepting advance fees for a loan modification in violation of the California Mortgage Securities Act; 2) Filing false documents with the Alameda County Recorder’s Office; and 3) Committing grand theft by charging homeowners for a foreclosure rescue scam that did not work.

“The pleas entered today are the result of a year-long investigation and prosecution by the Alameda County District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit,” stated O’Malley. “The resolution of this matter will help make the victims in this case whole by allowing them to seek full restitution for their losses, while also sending a strong message to con artists that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office will aggressively prosecute any schemes which seek to defraud homeowners.”

Up until the change of plea, Tikal continued to assert that his program was legitimate. Public records show that Tikal and his agents were pitching his program in other jurisdictions in California, as well as in the states of Arizona, Florida, Minnesota, Nevada, and Wisconsin.

“By this plea in open court, there can be no doubt that the loan modification program pitched by Mr. Tikal is a scam,” noted Deputy District Attorney David Lim. “Homeowners should take note of this case, and beware of similar scams.” Lim noted that the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office continues to work with homeowners and law enforcement agencies in other jurisdictions that have been affected by this scam.

The prosecution of this case was one of the first under the Alameda County District Attorney’s new Homeowner Education and Loan Protection (H.E.L.P.) Program. Designed to protect homeowners from mortgage fraud, O’Malley noted that this case reflects the new philosophy of H.E.L.P.

“In this case, our office aggressively sought a grand jury indictment, and moved quickly to prosecute Mr. Tikal as soon as we confirmed his program was illegal,” said O’Malley. “While Mr. Tikal has defrauded hundreds of homeowners throughout California, thanks to the quick action by the H.E.L.P. unit, we were able to limit Mr. Tikal’s impact on homeowners in Alameda County to only a handful of residents. Furthermore, homeowners are now on notice that this program does not work.”

In announcing the conviction of Tikal, the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office reminds residents to be cautious in signing up for home loan modification scams that seem too good to be true. 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 Homeowner Education and Loan Protection (H.E.L.P.) Unit of the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office at (510) 383-8600.

The case is: People v. Alan David Tikal, Alameda County Superior Court case # 165379A

Contact: David Lim, Deputy District Attorney
(510) 777-2234
Alameda County District Attorney's Office

Posted on Nov 2, 2011