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Jury Convicts Lawyer of Breaking into Foreclosed Home

Michael Theodore Pines, 59, San Diego, an attorney, was convicted of attempting to illegally break into a foreclosed home in Newport Coast, California.  Pines was found guilty by a jury of one misdemeanor count each of vandalism, attempted second degree burglary, the attempted unauthorized entry of a dwelling, and obstructing an officer. He faces a sentence ranging from probation up to three years in jail and up to $10,000 in fines at his sentencing Oct. 14, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-3, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.

Co-defendant and former homeowner Rene Hector Zepeda, 72, Newport Beach, pleaded no contest Aug. 29, 2011, to one misdemeanor count of trespassing. He is ordered to pay $435 in restitution and testified truthfully in Pines' trial.

As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Zepeda owned a home at 19 Coral Cay, Newport Coast, California, until July 2009, when he lost the home to foreclosure. In 2010, Zepeda retained Pines as his attorney. Without making any attempt to undo the foreclosure or file any case to prove the foreclosure was defective, Pines incorrectly advised Zepeda that the foreclosure was illegal. Pines instructed Zepeda to break in and physically repossess the home.

Pines then contacted the media and a real estate agent hired by the bank as trustee for the foreclosed home and informed them that Pines and Zepeda would be taking possession of the home on Oct. 13, 2010. The agent contacted the Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD), who investigated this case.

Pines is an attorney whose license was suspended in May 2011. He represented himself in this trial. He is also facing criminal charges in separate cases in Ventura and San Diego Counties.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Pete Pierce of the Real Estate Fraud Unit is prosecuting this case.

Courtesy Mortgage Fraud Blog

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 8 commentsDavid Saks • September 07 2011 10:04PM


yikes that is not the way to get thing done.  I cannot understand the behavior.

Posted by Elite Home Sales Team, A Tenacious and Skilled Real Estate Team (Elite Home Sales Team OC) over 8 years ago

Agreed, Mark. Thank you for your kind thoughts. Hope you have a fine week ahead.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

Hi David,

 I sell REO homes and have attorneys make all kinds of promises to the previous mortgagee that they will stop the foreclosure but the foreclosure is already done. This is the catch. Then the attorney get thousands of dollars for 3-4 months and then says sorry but I cannot save it. What a rip off! But I think maybe this attorney in your post may have a screw loose? Wonder what his defense was? Must not have been a very good attorney either. Thanks.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realty) over 8 years ago

There are many people who are operating under some delusional thinking about foreclosures.

Posted by MichelleCherie Carr Crowe Just Call...408-252-8900, Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years (Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty) over 8 years ago

It's amazing how some people will believe whatever they are told, without considering what is reasonable.

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 8 years ago

Thank you, Kristin, Michelle, and Carol for your comments.Hopes for a great day for you.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

I'll have to ask our San Diego attorney if he knows this dude.  WOW, just wow.

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 8 years ago

Thanks for commenting, Tammy.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 8 years ago

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