One of six people indicted in a $4 million mortgage fraud scheme spanning four Southern California counties was sentenced Wednesday to nearly eight years in state prison.
Prakashumar “Kash” Bhakta pleaded guilty late last year in San Diego to 113 felony counts, including conspiracy, grand theft and filing false or forged documents in connection with a scheme that “preyed on homeowners facing foreclosure” in San Diego, Riverside, Los Angeles and San Bernardino counties, according to the state Attorney General’s Office.
Bhakta and others offered legal assistance to residents looking to save their homes in exchange for thousands of dollars in payments and fees, state prosecutors said. The defendants then filed “numerous fraudulent documents, including false bankruptcies and false court filings.”
Bhakta was individually found to have notarized grant deeds by forging homeowners’ names on the documents.
Co-defendants Jacob Orona, Aide Orona, John Contreras, Marcus Robinson and David Boyd previously pleaded guilty and were sentenced to prison terms ranging from four years to more than seven years, according to the Attorney General’s Office.
“We have zero tolerance for scam artists who cheat vulnerable families by stealing their life savings and shattering their dreams of owning a home,” said Attorney General Xavier Becerra.
— City News Service
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