Monday, July 28, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Arrests made in ‘We Kill Your Mortgage’ scheme

By
From page C7 | February 08, 2013 |

Three suspects have been arrested and charged in a mortgage fraud scheme targeting struggling Northern California homeowners, according to the California Attorney General’s Office. Six Websites allegedly used by the suspects to advertise their scheme have been intercepted and redirected to a resource page on the AG’s website.

The felony complaint alleges that Ronald Vernon Cupp, 58, of Santa Rosa, deceived homeowners by falsely advertising a way to “kill” their mortgage debt on six Websites, including wekillyourmortgage.com. Cupp was assisted by Randall Gilbert Heyden, 69, of San Rafael, and Angelle Wertz, 38, of Santa Rosa, a public notary who allegedly certified phony legal documents. Cupp allegedly recorded fraudulent documents, which would only delay a foreclosure, not actually satisfy the preexisting mortgage debt.

“Vulnerable California homeowners thought they were working to save their homes but were actually the victims of a fraudulent scheme,” Attorney General Kamala Harris said. “Today, it’s not enough to dismantle the brick-and-mortar aspect of a criminal operation; we need to shut down criminal operations in cyberspace as well.”

Cupp, Heyden and Wertz are charged in a 57-count complaint alleging theft, forgery, notary fraud and recording of false documents. They were booked at the Sonoma County Jail on Jan. 23. Cupp and Heyden are being held with bail set at $500,000 and $75,000 respectively. Wertz was released but ordered to appear for arraignment on Jan. 25.

Through Cupp’s business, North Bay Trust Services, homeowners would often allegedly pay upfront fees of between $1,000 and $10,000 and sign a promissory note or new mortgage for a phony offer to eliminate their mortgage debt. Requiring up-front fees is illegal in California. The suspects would then allegedly record fraudulent documentation purporting to be the attorney for the homeowner’s actual lender and then relinquish the mortgage and record a new deed of trust in favor of North Bay Trust Services. The debt to the original lender was never actually satisfied.

The following six websites have had their service suspended pursuant to a court order at the request of the Attorney General  eCrime Unit:

northbaytrustservices.com/

wekillyourmortgage.com/

santarosatrustandtitle.com/

sonomafidelitytitle.com/

cortemaderafidelityandtitle.com/

marintrustandtitle.com/

These pages have been redirected to the California Attorney General’s website (http://oag.ca.gov/ecrime/doj-investigation) where individuals are able to file an online complaint form if they believe they may have been the victim of the scheme.

The arrests were a result of a joint investigation by the California Department of Justice Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, Northern California Computer Crimes Task Force, Marin County District Attorney’s office, Sonoma County District Attorney’s Office and Santa Rosa Police Department.

Below are tips for homeowners on how to avoid mortgage fraud schemes:

  • Never pay an up-front fee for mortgage-related services. It is against California law and should be reported to the California Department of Justice.
  • Be skeptical of third party phone or online solicitations.
  • Do not give your personal financial information, such as your bank account number, social security number or the name of your loan servicer, to a solicitor. Your bank or loan servicer already has this information.

For free, trustworthy advice on mortgage related matters call a HUD approved counselor at 888-995-4673.

Comments

comments

.

News

 
County’s chief lawyer: No Brown Act violation

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

General Plan workshop today

By Chris Daley | From Page: A1

 
Two growth control initiatives get green light

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1

Sand Fire burns more than 4,000 acres

By Dawn Hodson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

 
Fatal accident in Camino

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Agricultural Crop and Livestock Report released

By Ross Branch | From Page: A3

 
35 people displaced in Tahoe hotel fire

By Tahoe Tribune | From Page: A3 | Gallery

.

Opinion

The balancing act: Toxic waste spreads

By Larry Weitzman | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

 
Bee-ing silly

By Mountain Democrat | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
.

Letters

Want more water?

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
Refugee crisis

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

Letter to Speaker of the House

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
GDPUD misinformation

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5

At the crossroads

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

 
.

Sports

Under the Scoreboard: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Schedule: July 28 – Aug. 2, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

Roundup: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
Camp experience is ‘priceless’

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Speedway races cancelled

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A6

 
El Dorado doubles up on Pro Players

By Mike Bush | From Page: A6 | Gallery

Local spiker shines

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

 
Sports Scene: July 26, 2014

By Democrat Staff | From Page: A7

.

Prospecting

A beautiful day at Wakamatsu Tea and Silk Colony Farm

By Cathy Barsotti | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Foothill gourmet: Things get corny

By Donna Brown | From Page: B2

Bipolar Insights: From point A to point B

By Marcia Rose | From Page: B2

 
Cool time at Cowboys and Cornbread

By Democrat Staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
As we were: Recreation district grows

By Ken Deibert | From Page: B4

Cantare names new director

By Cantare Chorale | From Page: B10

 
After 5 Club to meet

By Senior Day | From Page: B10

.

Essentials

DUI Log: June 25-July 9

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

 
Crime Log: July 14-16

By Cole Mayer | From Page: A2

Divorces

By Charlotte Sanchez-Kosa | From Page: A2Comments are off for this post

 
.

Obituaries

.

Real Estate

.

Comics

TV Listings

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Speed Bump

By Contributor | From Page: A8

American Profile Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Tundra

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Horoscope, Tuesday, July 29, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Horoscope, Monday, July 28, 2014

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Shoe

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
Sudoku

By Contributor | From Page: A8

Rubes

By Contributor | From Page: A8

 
New York Times Crossword

By Contributor | From Page: A8