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Santa Ana real estate broker swindles $600K from victims, police say

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A real estate broker based out of Santa Ana swindled $600,000 from his victims, police said.

A real estate broker based out of Santa Ana was arrested Wednesday in connection with a real estate fraud investigation, according to authorities.

Santa Ana police said 39-year-old Andres Pacheco stole $600,000 from nine victims and believe there may be more victims.

One victim, Brian Kensinger, said he found a foreclosed home listing in Victorville for just under $70,000.

Kensinger, who runs Shark Investments, a firm that buys, flips and sells home, felt he had to act quickly.

"It's a 10 day close, cash, they happen very quick, don't need a lot of due diligence or inspection period, we just go after them," Kensinger explained.

Kensinger signed a contract and worked out the details with a broker at Franklin Realty in Santa Ana.

He wired money to the escrow account run by the broker, but two weeks passed and the seller had not received the cash.

Kensinger called the broker.

"He indicated to just give him a few days. There was no problem. That the transaction would close and he would get the money to where it needed to go," Kensinger said.

But it never happened.

Kensinger filed a police report only to find out he was not the only victim.

"They were doing short sell transactions and he was offering to be the representative for both the buyer and the seller," Detective Corporal Shannon Rackley with the Santa Ana Police Department said.

Pacheco was arrested for grand theft, intent to defraud, and aggravated white collar crime.

Kensinger said his company will recover, but worries about the others who lost thousands of dollars.

"This is the type of criminal act that can really devastate people's lives for a long time, that's what is really unfortunate," Kensinger said.

If you feel you may have been a victim of a similar crime, you're asked to call Santa Ana police at (714) 245-8431.
Related Topics:
newsfraudreal estateinvestigationSanta AnaOrange County
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