October 29, 2015
Las Vegas, NV – Nevada Attorney General Adam Paul Laxalt announced that Lynda Finch-Estrada, 56, of Las Vegas, William Chrissikopoulos, 44, of Henderson and Alan Dornhuber, 65, of Las Vegas, entered guilty pleas for their involvement in a complex mortgage fraud scam. Finch-Estrada and Chrissikopoulos each pleaded guilty to multiple transactions of fraud and deceit in the course of an enterprise or occupation, a category “B” felony, while Dornhuber pleaded guilty to theft by material misrepresentation, a category “C” felony. The crimes were committed between spring 2011 and spring 2013.
The defendants formed an elaborate mortgage assistance scheme, costing each of their victims between $6,000 and $13,000 by operating the fraudulent businesses of U.S. Foreclosure Prevention, Home Defense Fund, Home Defense Foundation, Home Defense Group, American Mortgage Rescue and American Home Rescue.
“Mortgage fraud is a growing crime that hurts our homeowners, businesses and economy at large,” said Laxalt. “I strongly encourage homeowners looking for mortgage assistance to consult the Home Again Nevada Homeowner Relief Program before paying any up-front fees to private individuals or entities. The program is sponsored by my office and offers a free resource designed to assist homeowners with their current mortgage needs.”
The defendants operated three different schemes to defraud several Nevada homeowners, falsely promising to eliminate their mortgages and obtain their homes free and clear of liens. Among other things, the defendants falsely claimed to use a “forensic audit” and improperly cited admiralty law to promise their victims that they could eliminate their mortgages simply by notarizing and signing thick packages of papers with various colored inks and red thumbprint stamps. Finally, they scammed their victims by charging large sums of money to prepare false documents appointing the homeowners with powers of attorney for their lenders. The defendants claimed these documents would satisfy their mortgages, and encouraged the victims to deed their homes to a fictitious charitable trust in order to avoid their mortgage obligations. Ultimately, all three scams failed to assist victims with their homeownership.
Multiple Transactions of fraud and deceit in the course of an enterprise or occupation is punishable by 1-20 years of imprisonment. Theft by material misrepresentation is punishable by 1-5 years of imprisonment. The sentencing hearing for the defendants is scheduled for December 7, 2015 in Department Eight of the Eighth Judicial District Court.
This case was investigated by the Fraud Unit of the Office of the Nevada Attorney General. Chief Deputy Attorney General Samuel Kern and Senior Deputy Attorney General Raya Swift prosecuted this case.
To read the guilty plea agreements of Finch-Estrada, Chrissikopoulos and Dornhuber, click on their respective links. To file a complaint about someone suspected of committing a fraud, click here.
LYNDA FINCH-ESTRADA WILLIAM CHRISSIKOPOULUS ALAN DORNHUBER
(Photos courtesy of
the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department)