SANTA ANA – Seven defendants have been charged in connection with a Tustin and Santa Ana-based mortgage fraud scheme that prosecutors say scammed 79 victims for approximately $ 247,000.
Nathalie Nava, 36 years old; Amir Khoshnevis, 35; Aaron Pierson, 33; Alejandra Orozco, 27 years old; Maria De La Paz, 24 years old; Payom Ilkhanipour, 34 years old; and Ryan Pelzer, 30, are charged with multiple counts of conspiracy, money laundering and robbery with increased penalties for aggravated white collar crimes between $ 100,000 and $ 500,000.
The defendants worked for Regional Community Services, which had offices in Tustin and Santa Ana, and illegally offered mortgage foreclosure and debt consolidation advice, said Henry C. Griffin Jr., an investigator for the County Attorney’s Office in New York. ‘Orange, in court documents.
The defendants “lied to the homeowners about getting a low-interest mortgage, and after providing the homeowners with a” payment schedule, “they demanded and received these prepayments before a mortgage modification not be approved, ”Griffin said.
“The period that RCS operated was relatively short, from April 2018 to July 2018, due to a phone call I made to RCS in July 2018 questioning the legality of their foreclosure counseling services. “Griffin said.
After the call, the defendants shut everything down, “making it impossible for the owners to reach anyone at RCS,” Griffin said.
During those few months, the defendants raised an estimated $ 247,000 from 79 victims of illegal advances, Griffin alleged.
Khoshnevis, Pierson and Pelzer were considered fugitives and had yet to be arrested, according to court records. The other defendants were to be brought to justice on August 5.