David Saks: Woman Sentenced in Foreclosure Assistance Scam

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Woman Sentenced in Foreclosure Assistance Scam

Santa Cruz Woman Sentenced in Foreclosure Assistance Scam

U.S. Attorney’s Office June 27, 2013
  • Northern District of California (415) 436-7200
 

SAN JOSE—Tara Denise Bonelli was sentenced to 37 months in prison by United States District Judge Edward J. Davila in San Jose, California, on June 25, 2013, for defrauding investors of over $3,000,000, announced United States Attorney Melinda Haag.

On February 12, 2013, Bonelli pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud, in violation of 18 USC § 1343. Bonelli admitted that, beginning no later than May 2006, and continuing to at least until October 2008, she promoted false and fraudulent real estate investments by knowingly making false promises about how investor funds were to be invested and repaid.

According to her plea, in May 2004, Bonelli founded Vista Holding Company, a holding company that owned and operated eight entities, including

Vista Funding Inc., a pre-foreclosure services company that helped refinance properties or purchased properties to develop, rent, and/or sell;

Independent Financial, a company that bought mortgage notes from banks;

Equity Advisors, a mortgage company that matched lenders with borrowers;

Bonelli Properties, a real estate company;

Lost Dollar Services, a company formed to facilitate collection of homeowner overages;

Equity Inquiries, a real estate research company;

Outlook Enterprises, a development company;

and Sovereign Property Management, a property management company.

Although Bonelli established all these entities under Vista Holding Company, she primarily conducted business under Vista Funding Inc. and controlled all its business transactions.

In furtherance of her scheme, Bonelli told investors that their money would be used to purchase properties for resale or conversion to condominiums and to engage in the business of foreclosure assistance.

In some instances, to lure their investments, Bonelli promised a return of up to 1000 percent.

Rather than use investor money for the stated purpose, Bonelli used some of the investor funds to pay for her personal expenses.

Bonelli, 33, of Santa Cruz, California, was indicted by a federal grand jury on March 16, 2011.

She was charged with 18 counts of wire fraud, in violation of 18 United States Code § 1343. Under the plea agreement, Bonelli pleaded guilty to one count that encompassed the loss due to fraud in all of the counts, which was over $3,000,000.

The sentencing court also ordered that Bonelli pay restitution in an amount to be settled at a hearing to be held on August 5, 2013, at 3:00 p.m. before Judge Davila in San Jose.

Matt Parrella and Susan Knight are the Assistant U.S. Attorneys who are prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elise Etter. The prosecution is the result of a two-year investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division.

A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can .

source: FBI



David Saks



Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 4 commentsDavid Saks • June 27 2013 01:10PM

Comments

Sounds like a typical Ponzi scheme.  Sooner or latter, the payouts exceed the receipts and the house of cards come tumbling down. 

When will folks wake up????

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) over 6 years ago

Lynn, I have government press releases of real estate fraud cases piled up on my desk to review. The integrity of this nation's real estate community is plagued with egregious assault day after day. I'm horrified by the losses and the volume of evil associated with real estate fraud. Thanks for your note.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

18 counts of wire fraud. David you are our crime reporter star. We need to hear about the shady side of this business just like the local news. One reading this may encounter this person (if they are not in jail) or after her 37 months in the slam.

Thanks

 

Posted by Noah Seidenberg, Chicagoland and Suburbs (800) 858-7917 (Coldwell Banker) over 6 years ago

I frequently get notes from agents blasting me for blogging the crime press releases, Noah. The usual reason is that they believe it gives the real estate profession a bad name. The press releases don't give the real estate business a bad name. It's the crooks that work in the real estate business that give the real estate business a bad name. I'm grateful for your thoughtful input regarding these terrible financial crimes.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 6 years ago

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