Tag Archives: Elham Assadi Jouzani

Who is Elham Assadi Jouzani?

Last March, we wrote about the federal indictment of 19 people for mortgage fraud-related offenses under what the government called “Operation Homewrecker.”

The indictment alleged that a scam operated by Charles Head, 33, of Los Angeles, California, along with 18 others under his direction, targeted homeowners in dire financial straits, and fraudulently obtained title to over 100 homes and stole millions of dollars through fraudulently obtained loans and mortgages.

Among the alleged conspirators was Elham Assadi, aka Elham Assadi Jouzani, aka Ely Assadi, 30, of Irvine, California.

In the past two weeks, many of our readers have found this blog by searching for the name Elham Assadi Jouzani (and, somewhat less frequently, by searching for Ely Assadi and Elham Assadi).

Who is Elham Assadi Jouzani?

Jouzani is alleged by federal prosecutors to have been part of a “foreclosure rescue” scam that netted approximately $6.7 million in fraudulently obtained funds taken from 47 homeowners, nearly all located in California.

The allegations are that from January 1, 2004 to March 14, 2006, the defendants contacted desperate homeowners, offering two “options” allowing them to avoid foreclosure and obtain thousands of dollars up-front to help pay mounting bills. If the homeowner could not qualify for the “ first option,” which virtually none could, they would be offered the “second option.” An “investor” would be added to the title of the home, to whom the homeowner would make a “rental” payment of an amount allegedly less than their mortgage payment, thereby allowing the homeowner to repair their credit by having the mortgage payments made in a timely fashion.

All of this was a scam.

The defendants recruited straw buyers as the “investors” who would then replace the homeowners on the titles of the properties without the homeowners’ knowledge. Once the straw buyer had title to the home, the defendants immediately applied for a mortgage to extract the maximum available equity from the home. The defendants would then share the proceeds of the ill-gotten equity and “rent” being paid by the victim homeowner.

When the defendants ultimately would sell the home, stop making the mortgage payment, and/or pursue an eviction proceeding, the victim homeowner was left without their home, equity, or credit.

These facts explain the interest in Operation Homewrecker.

But these facts don’t explain the recent particular interest in Jouzani.

We’ve searched the Internet ourselves, and we can’t find any reference to Elham Assadi, Ely Assadi, or Elham Assadi Jouzani outside of this case.

Nor can we find anything in the news that explains the current interest in Jouzani as compared to the other Operation Homewrecker conspirators.

If you’ve come to this blog by searching for Jouzani, please tell us why there is so much special interest in this particular Homewrecker.

And why the interest at this time?

We’d love to provide more reporting on Jouzani, so if you know something, please tell us so that we can pass it on to our readers.

 

Advertisements

One of Charles Head’s “Operation Homewrecker” Scammers Still Listed as Broker on Reverse Mortgage Website

Keith Brotemarkle, one of the people indicted with Charles Head in an alleged “equity stripping” scheme called Operation Homewrecker, was also involved in a reverse mortgage company called Reverse Mortgage Resources.

The company’s website “invites qualified brokers to become Approved Reverse Mortgage Advisors” with Reverse Mortgage Resources.  It asks potential affiliated brokers ” Who did you speak with at Reverse Mortgage Resources?” 

One of the brokers listed as being at Reverse Mortgage Resources is Keith Brotemarkle.

Brotemarkle was allegedly a participant in Charles Head’s “equity stripping” scheme that netted approximately $5.9 million in stolen equity from 68 homeowners in states across the nation. Targeting distressed homeowners and defrauding mortgage lenders through the use of straw buyers, Head would receive approximately 97 percent of the stolen equity, while the other defendants received either the remaining 3 percent of equity or a salary from the fraudulently-obtained funding. The defendants used referrals from mortgage brokers to identify and solicit new victim homeowners, and also sent “blast faxes” to mortgage brokers throughout the country and mass emails to potential victims. Through misrepresentations and omissions, desperate homeowners would be offered what appeared to be their last best chance to save their homes. Victims were left without their homes, equity, or credit.

The FBI has recently announced that it has begun an investigation to the misuse of reverse mortgages.  Reverse mortgages release the equity in a property to the homeowner in one lump sum or multiple payments. The homeowner’s obligation to repay the loan is deferred until the owner dies, the home is sold, or the owner leaves the home.  In the U.S., reverse mortgages are available for people 62 years old or older. Reverse mortgages are typically used to finance retirement or pay unexpected medical bills.  While reverse mortgages can make sense for seniors, the FBI is concerned about possible abusive sales practices that prey on seniors, such as aggressive and untruthful marketing and excessive fees.

Reverse Mortgage Resources is run by mortgage broker Don Marginson.  Its website states that it is located in Ranch Bernardo, California, and that it is “expanding again with offices to cover the Southeast and Northeast United States.”

We have no reason to believe that Reverse Mortgage Resources is not legitimate, and we would not want to assume that it is illegitimate simply because of its association with Brotemarkle.

But we would suggest that they remove Brotemarkle’s name from its website.

 

 

Update: Mortgage Scam Website Sill Online

Here’s an update to our earlier post “Mortgage Scam Website Still Online.”

The Web page we originally linked to has been taken down. 

We have, however, found another page that is still on online.

The website says “Let technology and the power of the Internet work for you!  Take the headaches out of shopping for a home loan.”

You can find it here.

UPDATE:

We’ve also found a reverse mortgage website that lists Operation Home Wrecker scammer Keith Brotemarkle as one of its brokers.  You can read our post here.

Mortgage Scam Website Still Online

We blogged yesterday about the federal indictment in “Operation Homewrecker” of Charles Head and 18 others for what the FBI alleges to be a major mortgage scam that defrauded homeowners of their houses, their equity and their credit.

Today we saw that a website of Charles Head’s company is still online.

The website of Head Financial Services (“The Smart Way to Shop for a Lender”) is hosted by the website for Huntington Beach News.

The website promises that you can “Get 3 competing mortgage bids with one easy form” and that “Lenders are standing by now to serve you.” 

 

A representative of the Huntington Beach News told us that the page was a paid advertisement.

He also said that he didn’t know who had paid for the page, but that he needed to take the page down.

The only link on the page is to Charles Head’s email at charleschead@aol.com.

UPDATE:

The Web page we originally linked to has been taken down.  You can see another Head Financial Web page that is still online here.

We’ve also found a reverse mortgage website that lists Operation Home Wrecker scammer Keith Brotemarkle as one of its brokers.  You can read our post here.

“Operation Homewrecker” Nets 19 Indictments for Mortgage Fraud Scheme — With More Charges Soon. Mortgage Brokers Alleged to be Involved.

Federal prosecutors in Sacramento, California, announced today the indictment of 19 people for mortgage fraud-related offenses under what it called “Operation Homewrecker.”

The indictment alleges that the leader of this nationwide scam is Charles Head, 33, of Los Angeles, California, who targeted homeowners in dire financial straits, fraudulently obtaining title to over 100 homes and stole millions of dollars through fraudulently obtained loans and mortgages.

The charges are divided into two separate indictments.

“Head One” involved a “foreclosure rescue” scam, netting approximately $6.7 million in fraudulently obtained funds taken from 47 homeowners, nearly all located in California. The allegations in Head One are that from January 1, 2004 to March 14, 2006, the defendants contacted desperate homeowners, offering two “options” allowing them to avoid foreclosure and obtain thousands of dollars up-front to help pay mounting bills.

If the homeowner could not qualify for the “ first option,” which virtually none could, they would be offered the “second option.” An “investor” would be added to the title of the home, to whom the homeowner would make a “rental” payment of an amount allegedly less than their mortgage payment, thereby allowing the homeowner to repair their credit by having the mortgage payments made in a timely fashion.

All of this was a scam.

The defendants recruited straw buyers as the “investors” who would then replace the homeowners on the titles of the properties without the homeowners’ knowledge. Once the straw buyer had title to the home, the defendants immediately applied for a mortgage to extract the maximum available equity from the home. The defendants would then share the proceeds of the ill-gotten equity and “rent” being paid by the victim homeowner.

When the defendants ultimately would sell the home, stop making the mortgage payment, and/or pursue an eviction proceeding, the victim homeowner was left without their home, equity, or credit.

The following defendants were charged in the February 28, 2008 “Head One” indictment: Charles Head, 33, of La Habra, California; Jeremy Michael Head, 30, of Huntington Beach, California; Elham Assadi, aka Elham Assadi Jouzani, aka Ely Assadi, 30, of Irvine, California; Leonard Bernot, 51, of Laguna Hills, California; Akemi Bottari, 28, of Los Angeles; Joshua Coffman, 29, of North Hollywood; John Corcoran, aka Jack Corcoran, 52, of Anaheim; Sarah Mattson, 27, of Phoenix, Arizona; Domonic McCarns, 33, of Brea, California; Anh Nguyen, 36, of Los Angeles; Omar Sandoval, 32, of Rancho Cucamonga, California; Xochitl Sandoval, 29, of Rancho Cucamonga; Eduardo Vanegas, 28, of Phoenix; Andrew Vu, 39, of Santa Ana; Justin Wiley, 28, of Irvine; and Kou Yang, 32, of Corona, California.

“Head Two” involved an alleged “equity stripping” scheme, netting approximately $5.9 million in stolen equity from 68 homeowners in states across the nation.

While still targeting distressed homeowners and defrauding mortgage lenders through the use of straw buyers, in this version of the scheme, Charles Head would receive approximately 97 percent of the stolen equity, while his “sales agents” and employees, and the other defendants, would receive either the remaining 3 percent of equity or a salary from the fraudulently-obtained funding.

Instead of recruiting straw buyers, as in Head One, in Head Two the defendants allegedly recruited strangers via the Internet. They also used referrals from mortgage brokers to identify and solicit new victim homeowners. Beyond advertising on the Internet, the defendants also would send “blast faxes” to mortgage brokers throughout the country and generate mass emails to potential victims.

Through misrepresentations and omissions, victim homeowners would be offered what appeared to be their last best chance to save their homes. As in Head One, these victims also were left without their homes, equity, or credit.

Those charged in the Head Two indictment include Charles Head, John Corcoran, Kou Yang, each also charged in Head One, as well as Keith Brotemarkle, 42, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania; Benjamin Budoff, 41, of Colorado Springs, Colorado; Domonic McCarns, 33, of Brea, California; and Lisa Vang, 24, of Westminster, California.

The FBI has seized lavish sports cars, a fleet of high-end Italian motorcycles, thousands of documents and a condominium in Miami.

It remains to be seen how far this scam reached, or how many people and institutions were criminally involved.

Prosecutors made it clear that more charges would be filed. FBI Special Agent Drew Parenti said his agency is now “focusing on the industry professionals, the ‘insiders’ who have manipulated the mortgage loan process for their own financial gain.”

Particularly ominous is the statement by federal prosecutors that the defendants “used referrals from mortgage brokers to identify and solicit new victim homeowners”

Whatever the reach of this investigation, we know it is barely the tip of the iceberg of mortgage-related fraud.

We note too that the defendants’ scheme is alleged to have begun in January 2004 – well before the mortgage crisis grabbed national attention – and that the indictment only covers conduct up until March 2006 – well before the mortgage crisis drove many tens of thousands more people into the kind of desperation that the defendants manipulated.

This is only the beginning.

We’re going to see a lot more mortgage fraud indictments.

And as conditions worsen for more and more people who can not pay their mortgages, we’re going to see even more new mortgage fraud schemes.

UPDATE

We’ve discovered the website of Charles Head’s “Head Financial Services.”  To see the website and read the story, click here.

We’ve also found a reverse mortgage website that lists Operation Home Wrecker scammer Keith Brotemarkle as one of its brokers.  You can read our post here.