Orange County Real Estate Fraud Lawyer
Real estate fraud is prosecuted very seriously in Southern California. If you've been accused of a similar crime in Orange County or the surrounding areas, contact Law Office of Michael L. Guisti. The dedicated OC criminal defense lawyers at our firm are here to protect your reputation and pursue a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Southern California has experienced a massive real estate collapse, and mortgage brokers, real estate agents, notaries, appraisers, contractors, and non-professional buyers and sellers have been caught up in changing, complex laws. While these new laws are designed to protect consumers from the real estate practices that many people believed caused the real estate bubble to "burst", they can often lead to confusing situations and frustrating accusations.
As a response to the real estate crisis the California Attorney General, along with the Southern California district attorney offices of Orange County, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego have created specialized units to aggressively go after and prosecute those accused of real estate fraud.
As a mortgage broker, real estate agent, appraiser, notary, contractor, or non-professional buyer and seller they're several possible real estate fraud crimes you could be charged with, which is why our firm is here to fight for your rights and reputation. Our legal professionals have over a decade of experience winning cases for our clients accused of real estate fraud and are prepared to advocate on your behalf.
Authorities have become so aggressive that these days they are not just charging the single person allegedly involved in the real estate fraud crime, but often the whole real estate office is being charged and/or subpoenaed, which is why it's so important to contact our real estate fraud attorney.
There isn't one single real estate fraud crime, but rather they're several different misdemeanor and felony real estate fraud crimes. This includes crimes such as the following:
- Predatory lending
- Foreclosure fraud
- Rent skimming
- Deed fraud or forgery
- House flipping crimes
- Title transfer fraud
- "Phantom help"
- Straw buying
Real estate transactions are made public, so it's easy for anybody to see what business you've been conducting. Generally what starts an investigation against you is when the California Department of Real Estate (DRE) notice certain "red flags" involved in pending real estate transactions you're involved with.
Sometimes the DRE just may receiving multiple complaints about you, or they see that a home is being sold for much more than market value, or they notice real estate contracts that include inflated fees, or unethical requirements.
It's important to understand that most of California's real estate fraud laws are covered under California's grand theft crime laws, which means it's a "wobbler,' meaning you could be charged with either a misdemeanor or a felony. Most district attorneys choose to charge this as a felony, which means, if convicted, you could face up to three years in state prison. Depending on the value of the property involved you could face even more harsh punishments.
If the homeowner or renter was deprived of more than $100,000 and the defendant was convicted of two or more felonies involving fraud in the same criminal proceeding, there could be additional and consecutive years in the state prison and either a maximum $500,000 fine or double the amount of the fraud, whichever is greater.
Real estate fraud crimes are taken very seriously by the district attorney and they're casting a wide net in real estate offices, determined to convict as many individuals as possible. For this reason, you need to call Law Office of Michael L. Guisti right away if you have been accused of committing fraud. Our firm has the experience to free you of these charges and allow you to keep your license.
We're here to protect your reputation, license and freedom, and we have over a decade worth of experience successfully winning real estate fraud cases for our clients. Contact our OC fraud defense lawyers today if you are ready to speak about your charges.
Whether you're facing a felony or a misdemeanor, don't risk a conviction. Act quickly to redeem your reputation and protect your record by consulting with our Orange County criminal defense lawyer. Call today to schedule your free consultation.