A California man was placed under arrest Friday on a complaint charging him with mail fraud for running a multistate scam that bilked homeowners out of more than $3.1 million.[IMAGE]
Alan David Tikal of Brentwood, California, was arrested at his home for a complaint that he scammed more than 1,000 homeowners out of millions of dollars in a fraudulent foreclosure rescue scheme.
According to court documents, Tikal operated a large-scale mortgage rescue scam that began in January 2010 and continued to the present. He allegedly convinced homeowners that he could work out their mortgage debt and replace it was a lower debt to his own company, ""KATN Trust"":http://www.alcoda.org/news/files/KATN_Alert.pdf.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Having been instructed to ignore all correspondence from their original lenders, victims paid thousands of dollars in upfront fees and then made regular payments on their new loans.
""As alleged, Tikal's operation duped victims with false claims of drastically lowering their mortgage debt in exchange for advance fees. As a result of his alleged deceit, homeowners' financial condition worsened, and for some, the opportunity to participate in legitimate loan modification programs such as the government-sponsored Home Affordable Modification Program was lost,"" said Christy Romero, ""Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program"":http://www.sigtarp.gov/Pages/home.aspx (SIGTARP).
If convicted, Tikal faces a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
The case is the product of an investigation by SIGTARP, ""IRS' Criminal Investigation division"":http://www.irs.gov/uac/Criminal-Enforcement-1, the California Department of Justice, and the ""Stanislaus County District Attorney's Office"":http://www.stanislaus-da.org/. It is a joint prosecution by the United States Attorney's Office for the ""Eastern District of California"":http://www.justice.gov/usao/cae/index.html and the ""California Attorney General's Office"":http://oag.ca.gov/.
""As the foreclosure crisis continues, we are seeing a rise in scams that target struggling homeowners,"" said state attorney general Kamala Harris. ""These predators rob innocent families of their life savings and their piece of the American dream. I am thankful for the fine work of the California Mortgage Fraud Strike Force and of our U.S. Department of Justice colleagues in cracking this case.""