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Men inform cops, break into foreclosed house

May 31, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two men have been charged with allegedly breaking into a foreclosed home in Newport in front of police.

Rene Hector Zepeda, 72, and Michael Pines, 59, allegedly arrived at the foreclosed house on the morning of Oct. 13, 2010, with a locksmith. Police were at the location and informed the men they could be arrested if they entered the house.

Police allege Pines told Zepeda to ignore the officers and to proceed. Both men allegedly broke a window and were subsequently arrested, cited and released.

Newport Beach Police say Zepeda owned the house at 19 Coral Cay in Newport Coast until July 2009, when the house was foreclosed.

Zepeda hired Pines as his attorney in 2010, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Authorities say Pines advised Zepeda the foreclosure was illegal, and that he should re-occupy the house. Pines allegedly did not try to prove the foreclosure was illegal and did not file any case.

Pines allegedly informed a real estate agent acting as trustee for the bank owning the house that Pines and Zepeda would take over the house on Oct. 13, 2010. Pines allegedly also informed the media of the same intention. Authorities did not specify what media outlets were contacted.

The bank trustee contacted Newport Beach police.

According to the OCDA's office, Pines is an attorney whose license was suspended in May 2011. He is also facing criminal charges in separate cases in Ventura and San Diego Counties.

Pines, and Zepeda are charged with one misdemeanor count each of vandalism, second degree burglary, and the unauthorized entry of a dwelling, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office. Pines faces an additional misdemeanor count for resisting and obstructing an officer, according to the D.A.

If convicted, both Zepeda and Pines face a maximum sentence of a year in jail and up to $10,000 in fines. They turned themselves in at court Tuesday morning. They are scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial hearing on June 20, 2011.

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