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Real estate broker sentenced 68 yrs for fraud

October 18, 2010 12:00:00 AM PDT
A Westminster real estate broker was sentenced to 68 years and six months in prison for conspiring to commit $17.5 million in real estate fraud.Kathy Chen, 49, and her then-boyfriend Richard Gonzalez and his brother Daniel Gonzalez are accused of conspiring to commit millions of dollars worth in fraud by using identities of unsuspecting victims to obtain mortgage loans to purchase multiple properties.

The Gonzalez brothers have outstanding arrest warrants and are believed to be currently living in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Chen worked as a real estate broker and owned several businesses including Chen Financial, Western Escrow, National Tax Services and SBC Financial. She used these businesses as a pool to find victims, who often spoke little or no English and were unemployed or had limited incomes.

Between January 2005 and July 2007, authorities said the three obtained 47 sham loans from 13 lenders on 35 different properties running upwards to $17.5 million using stolen identities.

The properties spanned throughout Orange County, San Bernardino County and Kern County.

Chen, 49, was found guilty in May 2010 of 136 felony counts including onecount of conspiracy, 47 counts of grand theft, one count of attempted grand theft, 37 counts of forgery, 27 counts of recording false documents, 15 counts of identity theft, one count of elder financial exploitation, four counts of forging an official seal and three counts of filing false state income tax returns.


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